JAMMU: Neither unusual nor unexpected! Pro-Palestine protests across the Kashmir Valley is a decades old pastime, as also the passion of generations, and therefore the arrest of 21 youth indulging in street vandalism despite prohibitory orders in force is not an exception. Nor is the reaction of the so-called mainstream leaders like Mehbooba Mufti who has questioned the rationale behind police action against the protesters. Having held constitutional position in the recent past, the former Chief Minister has criticized the arrests, asking (in her new found avocation of tweets) “People all over the world are protesting against the atrocities committed by Israel on Palestine. But in Kashmir it’s a punishable offence where an artist is booked under PSA & a preacher is arrested simply for expressing solidarity with Palestinians”. She tends to conveniently forget that Srinagar is under curfew due to surge in pandemic.The selective reaction of the leaders like Mehbooba Mufti exposes double standards of the both, mainstream and separatist’ parasites, who do not speak a word against perpetual atrocities being, carried out by China against the Muslim faith groups. Despite knowing that practising Islam has been made forbidden in parts of China, with individuals caught praying, fasting, growing a beard or wearing a hijab, a headscarf worn by Muslim women, facing the threat of arrest, the so-called champions of the Muslim cause in the Valley turn mute over the Chinese campaign, simply because of their love for Pakistan. China is the Messiah of the neighbouring rogue country and therefore sacrosanct for those who jump to streets whenever any ‘untoward’ happens against Muslims in Palestine, Iran or elsewhere. The love lost for China is so intense that a very senior politician from the Valley, a sitting Member Parliament, brazenly eulogized and pinned hope with the Dragon for reversal of Article 370, at a time when they had waged a virtual war against the sovereignty of India in Ladakh.Rightly describing the Israel bombing against civilians in Gaza as inhuman, some of the Kashmiri zealots don’t speak a word against the Hamas terror organisation that provoked the Jewish nation by targeting civilian areas by rockets and other terror acts.Killing of innocents, either in Kashmir or in Israel is Jihad and eliminating terrorists remains barbarism for rubble rousers in the Valley. Generations in Kashmir have thrived on violence whenever Palestine faced resistance by Israelis for decades. Generally, these protests used to turn violent against the security forces, police and minority segments in the Valley, who have since been hounded out. The mindset remains the same though the actors in the protests keep changing.In the very recent past, Kashmir boiled over the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian Major General on January 3, 2020 when the United States of America launched a drone strike in Baghdad International Airport. Strange but true it is that something happening in far away Iran or Gaza brings wrath for the Indian security forces and the police in the Valley as mobs go berserk in their enthusiasm to show solidarity, most of the time with terrorists in the guise of Hamas and other organizations.Srinagar is in lockdown but still the euphoric mobs see reason in engaging the frontline warriors in brickbats. This is the reward for billions of rupees invested by the nation at the cost of the poor tax-payers hard earned money for welfare and wellness of the people. In return they get all types of hate campaigns like Ragdo, Ragdo agitations and perpetual stone-pelting against the forces. Ironically, the inheritance from Palestine has become a way of life for stone-pelters in the Valley. Stone pelting has been serving the twin purpose of elements supervising the so-called Jihad in Kashmir. First, it is a soft form of violence compared to bomb blasts or showering of bullets and second, this is a campaign to keep Kashmir boiling. Remember how chronic secessionist Syed Ali Geelani had justified Intifada or stone pelting by saying that “Several European countries have witnessed such incidents (of stone-pelting), where people express their anger. And, this is the same anger, which is showcased to demonstrate solidarity with Gaza, which is under severe attack by Israel.The apprehension of violent protests had led the IGP Kashmir to say, “We are a professional force and are sensitive to public anguish. But the J&K police have a legal responsibility to ensure law and order as well. It, however, wouldn’t allow cynical encashment of the public anger to trigger violence, lawlessness and disorder on Kashmir streets”.It will be interesting to watch how the police keep its resolve in the days to come, not to avert the violence but to stop assemblies of protesters, who could turn out as super-spreaders of the virus.
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