Winds of change in Kashmir

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Jammu Kashmir

20 March 2000. 36 Sikhs in the Chittisinghpura village of Anantnag district, Jammu and Kashmir were killed by the terrorists, wearing Indian Army fatigues. The terrorists arrived into the village in two groups, ordered the sikh villagers to line up in front of the Gurdwaras and opened fire, killing thirty-six people, hours before US president Bill Clinton was to be given a ceremonial welcome in Delhi.

This was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operation. Five of the Pakistani perpetrators of the Chittisinghpora massacre were neutralised by the army near Anantnag after five days. A huge propaganda/narrative/ perception war broke out, which was almost never contested. Till date, the internet is flooded with the Pakistani propaganda and conspiracy theories.

However, one of the accused, Mohammad Suhail Malik of Sialkot, Pakistan, who is a nephew of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba was arrested and he confessed about participating in the attacks in an interview with The New York Times.
In 2010, another Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) associate David Headley, also informed the National Investigation Agency that the LeT carried out the Chittisinghpura massacre. He is said to have identified an LeT militant named Muzzamil as part of the group.

Prior to this, the Sikhs living in the valley were normally not targeted by the terrorists. These killings were apparently done to highlight the Kashmir issue before the imminent visit of US president Bill Clinton. Clinton himself acknowledged in Delhi – “Yes, these Sikhs were killed, because I was visiting Delhi.”

This was the terror norm. if some foreign dignitary will visit India, Pakistan sponsored terrorist will try to do something spectacular.

Other norm was for the Indian leaders visiting Jammu and Kashmir. Be that president of India or Prime Minister of India, a total Bandh will be observed in Kashmir, on the call given by the separatist.

And them came a miracle. Union home minister Amit Shah visited Srinagar on 26th, 2019. And for the first time in the history of three decades of terrorism in Kashmir, no separatist groups dared to give calls for a shutdown.

This was Amit Shah’s maiden visit as union home minister to Srinagar. He chaired several meetings related to security and development projects, co-chaired the unified headquarters meeting with J&K governor Satya Pal Malik and met a lot many social and political activists. These included state party leaders, delegations of civil society and Panchayat members. He also visited the Amarnath Shrine.

Mera Desh Badal Raha Hai. And really so.

New Delhi | PBNS Bureau