June 2018 News

'Ramzan Truce' Ends, Anti-terror Operations To Restart In Kashmir

17 June 2018
Times of India
Bharti Jain

New Delhi: With neither separatists nor terror groups reciprocating the peace gesture offered through the 'Ramzan truce', the government on Sunday announced resumption of full-scale anti-terror operations after having suspended offensive measures for the Muslim holy month of fasting. Home Minister Rajnath Singh ended speculation over whether the curtailment of counter-terror operations in J&K would be extended by announcing that intelligence-based cordon-and-search and search-and-destroy operations would restart. Singh took to Twitter to commend the forces for their 'exemplary restraint' during Ramzan despite grave provocations that saw targeted attacks including the killing of Shujaat Bukhari. 'Government (is) committed to working for creating an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu and Kashmir,' he said. Threats to the approaching Amarnath yatra and likely political costs - in the absence of any engagement in the Kashmir Valley - prompted the Centre to end the partial truce. 'Terrorists continued with wanton killing of civilians and attacks on security forces. Even separatists failed to seize the opportunity to reciprocate the initiative,' said a home official. However, the Centre felt the experiment was not without its benefits as its sincerity in offering an interlude of peace to break a cycle of violence in the face of provocation was appreciated by common citizens. Actions of separatists and terrorists negated normalcy with the murder of Bukhari serving to underscore how Kashmiris were bearing the brunt of violence. While the crackdown against terrorists will resume, the Centre will continue to reach out to Kashmiris with further confidence-building measures. The government's special representative Dineshwar Sharma will reach J&K on Monday and stay there until Saturday, talking to all sections of people and also reaching out to separatists in Hurriyat. The government said the decision to halt offensive operations was intended to provide a conducive atmosphere for fasting. 'Government commends the role of security forces for having implemented the decision in letter and spirit in the face of grave provocation, to enable Muslim brothers and sisters observe Ramzan peacefully,' it said. 'This decision has been appreciated by people all over the country, including J&K, and has brought relief to common citizens,' tweeted Singh. 'While security forces displayed exemplary restraint during this period, terrorists continued with attacks, on civilians and security forces, resulting in deaths and injuries,' he added. Even as the 'Ramzan ceasefire' played out, there was concern in the government and BJP that the continuing terror incidents would have an adverse political impact, not only in J&K but elsewhere in the country. Resuming operations against terror groups at a time when Pakistan continues to fire across the Line of Control and the International Border will reassure BJP's constituency that a hard line against jihadis has not been abandoned. Sources said while the total number of incidents were fewer and recruitment of locals into militancy declined during the Ramzan truce, there was a spike in grenade attacks and targeting of J&K police and Army personnel. 'Rise in the violence graph in the concluding days of Ramzan, including the killing of Bukhari and soldier Aurangzeb, vitiated the atmosphere on the eve of Eid. The need to ensure security of yatris arriving for upcoming Amarnath pilgrimage amid heightened terrorist activity made the government averse to the idea of extending the suspension of operations,' said an officer. Top Comment Who is Mehbooba fooling? The tax payers are tired of putting up the bill for these chaos, arrogance, and irresponsible governance. End article 370 and establish the rule of law, per constitution of I... Read MoreLootmar e khangress Any attack on Amarnath yatra at a time when there was a cessation of operations would have entailed a high political cost for BJP. The lack of any positive response to the ceasefire comes against the backdrop of the PDP-BJP coalition in J&K having virtually run its course. With the Lok Sabha polls nearing, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti will find it difficult to seek votes while in the company of BJP. The recent violent incidents in J&K seem to have also dimmed the chances of a dialogue with the Hurriyat.

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