The troubled valley of Kashmir witnessed the return of Border Security Force (BSF) after a gap of 12 years. After the curfew and raging protests crippled life for more than 45 days since the encounter of Hizbul Mujaheedin commander Burhan Wani, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday deployed Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in Lal chowk in Srinagar.
Against a backdrop of complete shutdown and chaos, the BSF men were seen maintaining a tight vigil with their sophisticated weapons as they ensured the curfew and restrictions were being followed. The situation in strife-ridden valley doesn’t seem to improve even as thousands of paramilitary CRPF and SSB jawaans areas are still engaged with J&K police to maintain law and order.
Removed from the state and replaced with the CRPF in 2004, the BSF was again pushed to the border areas and the city’s civilian life heaved a sigh of relief after witnessing their involvement in anti-militancy operations in valley from 1991 to 2004.
Engaging the BSF comes across a last-ditch attempt to bring normalcy to the otherwise turmoil state. Curfew and restrictions remained in force in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley to prevent people from taking to roads and staging demonstrations. The situation turned more volatile after yet another death, a youth named Irfan Ahemd took the toll to 68. He was hit by a tear gas shell fired by security personnel in Nowhatta area on Monday.
Hundreds injured, blinded and killed in a place described by Firdaus as ‘only paradise on earth,’ as the forces grapple to ensure ‘normalcy’ in the state forgetting that clampdown and restrictions are ‘not normal’ but a situation forged by failed policies and chaos.
On the other hand, the deployment of BSF is a much needed step as militants in Kashmir who were off-radar after successful operations by security forces this year are taking advantage of unrest that has led to breakdown of the Government machinery in the Valley. At least 40 militants from North Kashmir forests have taken advantage of the unrest and have managed to reach South and Central Kashmir.