ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Time for Alternatives to Violence in Kashmir

It is not easy for the leaders of the Kashmiri people's movement to show the courage that Gandhiji showed in Chaura Chauri. The risk too is far greater for them, most of all from the pro-Pakistan, Muslim extremist terrorists. But they have hardly any alternative except to seriously think of alternatives to violence.

One of the first prerequisites for fruitful talks between the government of India and the dissident leaders of Kashmir, which are being speculated about in the media after the release of the Hurriyat leaders, is de-escalation of violence in the state. Or that should be the first item of the agenda of the proposed talks. The recent tragedies at Chhatisinghpora and Pathribal should make the government and the leaders of the Azadi movement realise that violence can go out of control and become self-defeating for either side.

If the massacre of 35 innocent, unarmed and uninvolved Sikhs on March 20 at Chhatisinghpora caused universal outrage, including among Kashmiri Muslims against continuing violence, the killing of five persons at Pathribal claimed by the security forces to be militant killers of the Chhatisinghpora massacre but later found to be innocent local civilians, followed by killings of eight demonstrators, protesting against the latter killings neutralised the local anger against the militant violence and even created doubts about the identity of the killers of the Sikhs.

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