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Killing sitting ducks

The killing of four policemen in a militant attack in Zainapora quarter of Shopian district on Tuesday was felt with quite disdain and shock across the valley. The policemen were keeping watch on a residential area and were inside their guard room when they were fired upon. Three policemen died on the spot; a fourth one who received critical injuries was taken to hospital, where he died during treatment. The militants took away their service rifles. It in no way was viewed as an act of bravery as the policemen were not the personnel from any anti militancy column. They were rather on normal duty. It is quite natural for a man in the streets to sympathizing with the families of the slain policemen. Reports are that one of the slain police man’s brother had remained a militant and was killed in a clash with security forces a few years back. Consider the family of this policeman—government forces killing one brother and the other killed by militants.

Jaish e Mohammad militant group which claimed responsibility for the attack needs to do a serious self-analysis and soul-searching as what made it to talk big, and brag over the attack. The slain policemen were not the personnel from any anti-militancy column. They were common policemen. They were meant to protect a police post guarding a minority picket. Waylaying them and shooting them down is a heartless act. The home profile of the slain policemen suggests that they belonged to poor families and were the only sustainers of their families. These families are now totally devastated. The incident has caused anger and rage among people beyond the borders of these families. It is expected of militant leadership that instead of feeling incensed, they will look into the matter without getting emotional—with a cool mind and composed heart. These are the actions that militant groups used to indulge in 90s that ultimately gave rise to Ikhwan and other counter-insurgent groups. It were these counter-insurgent groups that damaged the militant movement the most. It was expected that the militant leadership might have learnt lessons from the past. Militants have the advantage of having a section of 90s-leadership still at the helm. They know it more than anyone else as how damaging it is to go against the common people.

This is not for the first time that policemen, who are not part of any anti militancy operational group were killed. These incidents have brought back the fear and dread of 90s into the minds of common people. The militants have a great role model in Burhan Wani before them. No militant leader in Kashmir has gained as much popularity and love as Burhan. His death, though took place almost 30 months back, is still mourned by the people, more particularly by the younger generation. The entire Kashmir got on boil for around six months over the death of Burhan. More than 100 persons were killed and thousands other wounded and jailed in protests that erupted in the wake of Burhan’s killing. It was indeed death of a hero and heartthrob. That is the amount of popularity Burhan enjoyed. The main reason of his popularity was his relation with common people. He was not just a HizbulMujahideen commander but indeed a peoples’ commander, who lived among people and for the people. That is why everybody in Kashmir felt for his death. Burhan, in fact, infused a new life in what is generally called ‘freedom’ movement. It is imperative for the successive militant leadership to follow the foot prints of Burhan Wani if they really want the same amount of love and popularity from the people of Kashmir.