ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Of Militarisation, Counter-insurgency and Land Grabs in Kashmir

It is sometimes claimed that Operation Sadbhavana, a counter-insurgency programme deployed to win the "hearts and minds" of the alienated masses of Kashmir has been successful. The local populace, however, considers these programmes as a tactic devised by the army to bolster its credibility and reach. The army occupation of large swathes of land in Kashmir has resulted in depeasantisation of rural areas, compounding the alienation of the people. This paper examines the narratives underlying the Sadbhavana programmes, military land grabs, and the counter-insurgency methods adopted in strife-torn Kashmir. It suggests that the army's belief that it can battle insurgency, which is essentially a political issue, through development projects and "effective governance" is an erroneous perception of reality.

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