India’s troubled Kashmir province has come under direct rule from the government after a tenuous coalition between the People’s Democratic Party and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party became untenable.
Citing increasing violence within the region, the BJP said that the alliance had become ‘untenable’ prompting Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to resign.
After tendering her resignation, Mufti defended the alliance and warned the central government that a ‘muscular’ security operation would not work in Kashmir.
“We had always said muscular security policy will not work in [Kashmir], reconciliation is key,” Mufti said. “The alliance was about dialogue, unilateral ceasefire and making sure the Prime Minister open dialogue with Pakistan and open various routes to talk to Pakistan. We took back cases against 11,000 stone-pelters, we have tried the best from our side to continue.”
Despite her protests, it seems that the majority of Indians supported the latest move by the Modi government.
An op-ed in the Statesman newspaper argued that with central rule, security would once more be in the focus.
“The Centre’s move towards imposing Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir signifies that more than development, the security situation in the border state at present needs prime focus, with unrelenting terror attacks in the Valley and ceasefire violations from across the border continuing at high pitch.
The terror attacks and the unprovoked firing from Pakistan resulted in civilian as well as military casualties non-stop, despite the Centre’s continuous offer of initiatives to achieve stable peace and accelerated development.”
Three militants were killed and five security officials were injured in a firefight in the region on Tuesday. An influential journalist, Shujaat Bukhari, was shot last week while leaving his office.
Kashmir is a disputed territory straddling the border of India and Pakistan both of whom claim ownership over the entirety of the area. Two wars have been fought by the longtime adversaries over the region.
Ten of thousands of people have been killed by a long-running insurgency in the Muslim-majority area.