Insurgency in Kashmir is the biggest threat to security of India since 1990s. India has recently witnessed a surge in insurgency related incidents in the Kashmir Valley.
Major issues related to insurgency are:
-> Magnitude of local support for the insurgency has increased among all generations as they tremendously exhibit a high degree of familiarity and emotional connect with each other.
-> Lack of political outreach to separatist leaders and locals due to divergent objectives of political parties.
-> Many locals see India as nation state in uniformed armed men which led to alienation among them.
Suggestions for tackling Kashmir Insurgency:
-> Security Capability: Use of mobile networks, social media and drones to equip surveillance of vulnerable locations to pre-emptively sabotage insurgency.
-> Counter Ideology: Use of mass media and social media to mould public opinion against separatist tendencies and in favour of Indian nationalism.
-> Developmental strategy: There is need to push more on the lines of the developmental work in the valley to address the alienation of certain groups.
-> Addressing Alienation: make Kashmiris genuine stakeholder in India’s development and progress, and strong interrelation of Kashmir with rest of the India. There should also be reasonable checks and balances be placed on AFSPA.
-> Opportunities for youth: The local youth needs to be provided with opportunities to keep them away from the false propaganda and try to engage them in the political setup.
-> Strengthening Democratic Institutions: People should increasingly lean towards political and democratic solutions, away from violence and insurgency.
-> Rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits in their native place. This will have balancing effect on radicalised demography. Also, it should be done for the justice to Kashmiri Pandits.
-> Crackdown on terror funding channels: Seize the means and operators of illegal hawala, money laundering, fake currency and so on. Recently NIA has seized crores of laundered and black money from separatist leaders.
-> Education should be made a priority in governance: Insurgents and terrorists are targeting particularly schools, as they see educated children and populace as a threat to their agenda.
The recent initiatives in form of withdrawing cases against first time offenders, the developmental works like Chenani-Nashri tunnel in J&k and appointment of the interlocutor for talks are good step in this regard and we need to follow up with more such initiatives. There is need to engage more with the youth through projects like project Umeed, Project Udaan etc.