After deployment of ten thousand more troops, order to J&K police to immediately provide details of the mosques in the Valley has kept the people on edge. This has only deepened the fears that the centre may be about to make some big move on Kashmir, and the most dreaded of such moves is the anticipated revocation of the Article 35A. Even though the top BJP leader Shiv Raj Chauhan and the senior security officials in the state have termed the extraordinary new security measures as routine, the people have not been convinced. Similarly Governor Satya Pal Malik’s dismissal of the panic in the valley as the rumours hasn’t helped the matters. The assurances that have come so far have been only half-hearted. Their credibility has further been undermined by the statements of the senior BJP leaders calling for the abrogation of the Articles 370 and 35A. The articles grant J&K special constitutional status within Indian Union and forbid outsiders from settling in the state. And if they go, it is feared to pave the way for a change in the demographic character of the state. Hence the panic among the majority of the people of the state.
This has created a problematic situation in the state. And it seems nobody’s business to address it. Or at least reassure or confirm as to what is being planned. That said, the Kashmir’s local leadership is sorely missing from the scene. Except for routine statements or tweets, all of them have so far been sitting on their hands. And which is the last thing people expect from them under the circumstances. And this has to change. True, some attempts to draw the attention towards the situation in Kashmir at the national level are welcome. For example, the National Conference MP Hasnain Masoodi Masoodi has through calling attention notice demanded a statement from the Home Minister Amit Shah on the current uncertainty in the Valley to dispel doubts and panic created by the unusual security measures. The party’s leadership has also sought an appointment with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And meanwhile, responding to People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti’s request for convening an all-party meeting immediately and presenting a united front against the Centre’s rumoured plans to scrap Article 35A, the NC leader Farooq Abdullah has agreed to call one. Moves like these will hopefully go some way to restore confidence in Valley. More so, at a time when the centre and the state governments through their respective measures are only deepening the panic in the Valley.