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 A violent time: on the protests in Shopian

Shopian in south Kashmir is on edge. On Sunday five militants, including slain Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani’s aide and a Kashmir University assistant professor, were killed in Badigam village of Shopian district in an encounter. In protests that followed, at least five civilians died and over 130 were injured in clashes(मुठभेड़/संघर्ष) with the security forces. Sunday’s violence(हिंसा) capped(छाया हुआ) a week of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, with a death toll of at least 24. Early on Sunday morning, a gunfight broke out after a Rashtriya Rifles unit launched a cordon-and-search operation on a specific(विशिष्ट/विस्तार) input. As the firefight between the two sides began and when security forces rushed(अचानक हमला करना/जल्दी करना) in more reinforcements(अतिरिक्त सैन्य), including para-commandos and the Jammu and Kashmir police’s Special Operations Group, civilians began to gather in protest. Dozens(दर्जनों) took to the streets(सड़कों), throwing stones at the security forces, who retaliated(जवाबी कार्रवाई) with teargas(आँसू गैस) and pellet guns. The security forces believe it was a strategy(रणनीति/कार्यनीति) to distract(व्याकुल करना/ध्यान खींचना) them and facilitate(सुविधाजनक बनाना) the militants’ escape(भगदड़/सुरक्षित निकल जाना). The protests were not just limited to the operation site, and clashes were reported from at least two other locations in the Valley. Sunday, unfortunately, was not an unusual day in the Valley(घाटी). It reflected a new normal, which includes daily violence involving the security forces, civilians and militants, all of it mostly ignored by the Indian politicalestablishment(संस्थान/स्थापना). It not only highlighted how Shopian, once a relatively peaceful area, has been transformed, but also how violence in the Valley shifts to different geographies instead of being confined(सिमित) to traditional(परंपरागत/रूढ़ि-गत) militant strongholds(आतंकवादी गढ़).

According to official data, after claiming a few thousand lives annually starting 1990, violence in the State began to decline(पतन/अन्त होना) in 2007-08, with 2012 seeing it dip to 117 deaths. However, starting 2013 it has been climbing back up sharply(शीघ्रता से/कठोरता से). The killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016 triggered a fresh round of violence and several dozen local youth have taken up guns since then. In 2017, all of 358 people died in the Valley. Episodic spells of stone-pelting, with the intensity(तीव्रता/गहनता) and duration varying(अलग-अलग,), have posed a particularly(विशेष रूप से) difficult dilemma(दुविधा)for the security forces and the civil administration. The challenge is not only to calm the street and stare down militants. It is to do so in a manner that keeps civilians out of harm’s way, so that alienation(अलगाव की भावना) does not deepen(गहरा/उमड़ना).That the authorities are failing to do so is evident from reports of increased recruitment by militant groups even in once-tranquil areas such as Shopian. Home-grown militancy is a reflection(ध्यान/प्रतिबिंब) of alienation, and the alarming reports of its revival demand a security strategy as well as a political outreach. In 2010, the political establishment responded to the summer of intense protests by reaching out to the Valley with an all-party delegation. The Centre must consider sending a similar all-party delegation to the State, before summer sets in.

Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: clear-cut, definite, definitive, different, distinct
Antonyms: ambiguous, careless, common, commonplace, equivocal

2.Retaliated(जवाबी कार्रवाई)
Synonyms: reciprocate, get, pay, recompense, repay
Antonyms: depart, leave, lose, take, forgive

3.Escape(भगदड़/सुरक्षित निकल जाना)
Synonyms: breakout, departure, desertion,disappearance, flight
Antonyms: arrival, coming, entrance, stay, staying

4.Rushed(अचानक हमला करना/जल्दी करना)
Synonyms: pressed, driven, pressured

5.Decline(पतन/अन्त होना)
Synonyms: deterioration, downturn, drop, failure, fall
Antonyms: increase, rise, success, accomplishment, achievement

Synonyms: difficulty, embarrassment, impasse, mess, plight
Antonyms: good fortune, solution, advantage, benefit, boon

7. Alienation(अलगाव की भावना)
Synonyms: disaffection, estrangement, indifference, separation, breach
Antonyms: agreement, connection, charm, endearment, friendliness

Synonyms: argument, battle, brawl, conflict, confrontation
Antonyms: agreement, calm, concord, harmony, peace



Credit To The Hindu News Paper



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