Srinagar, Dec 5: While the Indian government celebrated the elimination of more than 200 militants in Kashmir as part of “Operation All Out” in 2017 and former cricketer Virendra Sehwag congratulated the armed forces for this “double century”, a speech by a young IPS officer posted in the restive region questioned the success of the very exercise.
Marking the ninth anniversary of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer SSP Shailendra Mishra — who recently addressed a public gathering in the port city — termed the killing of Kashmiri militants the “collective failure” of India. The video of his speech at the function, hosted by a Brahmin forum, is going viral on the social media.
In his 15-minute address, Mishra expresses regret over the killings. “Killing of militants is no reason to celebrate, it’s the result of our collective failure… What were the circumstances that led to the making of Burhan Wani?” Mishra asks, amid applause from the audience.
Known as a “Dabangg” cop who calls a spade a spade, in the video, Mishra can be seen saying there is “no terrorism but militancy in Kashmir”. “I am a bureaucrat and delivering speeches is not my profession. But it’s my personal opinion that there’s no terrorism but militancy in Kashmir. Terrorism is something that unleashes terror across the society, like what recently happened in Egypt (mosque blast),” he explains.
“In Jammu and Kashmir some of our youth (militants) have complaints with the system. They are our own people. But yes, complaints with the system don’t mean that one should pick up arms. I am the son of a mill worker who lost his job in the 1980s and had to work as a watchman (to raise us).”
Mishra appealed to fellow citizens to enjoy visiting Kashmir “beyond the yatras”.
But then, it’s not the first time that Mishra, a 2009 batch IPS in 30s, is making news for his comments.
In July 2016, at the peak of the unrest in Kashmir, a war of words had ensued between him and Kashmiri IAS officer Shah Faesal when the latter threatened to resign “sooner than later” after his picture had been juxtaposed with that of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani — and comparisons drawn between the two over their life choices — by a section of news channels.
In what seemed like an acerbic reaction to Faesal’s post, the cop had then remarked on Facebook: “This is my nation and I’m out to defend it. No amount of criticism or threatening shall make me a coward, crying to quit. I qualified for the service not only to do a job but to serve. I don’t want to be a role model myself, let my service be a role model for people to emulate.”
Mishra’s latest remarks on militancy have caused a stir, exactly at a time a section of well-meaning voices is celebrating such killings.
A day after the police claimed 200 militants have been killed, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag, on December 2, congratulated the cops for achieving an “unbeatable double century.”
Interestingly, for Sehwag’s colleague Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kashmir is like a battlefield where the cricket star has to shun sporting attire to put on the Army uniform. During his recent visit to Kashmir, the iconic batsman was seen exclusively wearing the battle-dress in accordance with the honorific title of Lt Colonel given to him by the Indian Army. At a cricketing event, Kashmiri youth greeted him with “Musa Musa Zakira Musa” slogans.
But then killing militants is not killing militancy. As per the figures from the Union home ministry, in the last 30 odd years of the armed conflict in Kashmir, at least 22,000 militants have been killed. But Kashmir awaits resolution.
After a “double century” by the security forces, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti woke up to regret that “killing militants will not end militancy”, as if till now she had been drawing sadistic pleasure out of the funerals. Well, Kashmir is a political issue and politics a dirty game, so Mehbooba cannot be blamed.
In 2016, she hailed Mishra for introducing mounted police in the state as the then SSP of Udhampur. Within weeks he was attached to a cell and continues to be there since. It, however, doesn’t mean that the government is not satisfied with officers like Mishra. On August 15, Mehbooba awarded him with the prestigious Sher-e-Kashmir medal for meritorious services too.
But then being Dabangg comes at a cost as he is in the midst of a new storm! (Courtesy dailyo.in)