Doda in the Grip of Insurgency
Doda district is a hilly area encircled by dense forests. Towards north of Doda is the district of Anantnag and towards the south and south-west the borders touch Udhampur and Kathua. This very fringe also touches the borders of Himachal Pradesh. The eastern and south-east areas of the district join the borders of Leh district of Ladakh. The population ratio between the Muslims and the Hindus in Doda district is 55:45. Out of the seven subdivisions, Banihal, Kishtwar and Balesa are Muslim dominated areas. Bhaderwah, Thathriand Ramban have a Hindu majoirity. The Doda town has 90 per cent Muslim population. The advent of terrorism in Doda coincided with the rise of militancy in Anantnag district in 1989 where terrorists resorted to selective killing of the Hindus. As a result of the activities of the fundamentalists, Doda has witnessed communal tension. Militants have carved out training camps and hideouts in the rural areas of Doda from where insurgents operate and not to talk of common people, even the security officials do not dare to visit such areas alone.
The infiltration of terrorists into Doda area has been taking place from Anantnag district in south Kashmir and from Jammu-Banihal national highway. The terrorists had damaged the micro tower and the Forest Corporation Depot resulting in heavy loss of the Government property. On this very highway near Desa the terrorists succeeded in taking away latest weapons and ammunition from the police station without any resistance. According to a survey carried out by Mr. Maharaj Krishan Bharat, published in Panchjanya weekly, Pakistan trained militants and their supporters have become so active that people have lost faith in the local administration. Senior Government officers belonging to Muslim community and Congress and National Conference leaders do not hesitate in providing overt and covert assistance to the terrorists. There are about 4,000 trained terrorists which includes local Muslim youths in the 15-25 age group. Such Muslim youths are called local trained militants who receive training in houses and forests. Those terrorists who are given training in Kashmir are called Kashmiri trained terrorists. Pakistan trained militants are those who receive training in Pakistan or in Occupied Kashmir.
Plan of Greater Kashmir
The purpose of having started the Jehad for Nizam-e-Mustafa against India is to link Doda with Kashmir for the creation of Greater Kashmir. With the support of common Muslims this campaign has been intensified because the basic aim is to delink Dada area from Jammu and incorporate it with Kashmir for the formation of Greater Kashmir. Under this scheme, a major and important area of Jammu region would get snapped from Jammu and get linked with Anantnag district of Kashmir and it would result in the occupation of several mountain passes, Jawahar Tunnel and the area from Banihal to Patnitop by the terrorists. Once the terrorists succeed having the upper hand in the hilly area of Doda they would also succeed in launching their attack in the Hindu majority areas of Jammu and Udhampur.
The open Jehad against Government of India started by the religious fundamentalists in Doda area is reflected through the slogans written on the walls in Doda: "Kashmir Hindu Sey Khali Hai - Ab Doda Ki Bari Hai - "Azadi" - Al-Jehad - JKLF Ka Kaya Paigam ? Jammu Kashmir Bane Ga Darul Islam". The terrorists prepare the Muslims for Jehad through these slogans. The Hindus are forced to migrate and instructions have been issued not to purchase their property. Those who will not obey these instructions are being threatened with death sentence. Mr. Bhandari who was killed by terrorists on May 10, 1993, was instrumental in uniting nationalists forces against anti-national elements. According to the Presidentt Doda Rajput Sabha, Mr. Ashok Parihar, the Imam of Jama Masjid, Mr. Farooq Ahmed had embraced Mr. Bhandari on the evening of fateful day. After the Imam had left, two Muslim-youths fired three shots from the pistols and killed Mr. Bhandari. There the Hindus are resentful because at that time there was no doctor in the local hospital with the result Mr. Bhandari could not be saved. A similar incident has taken place in Doda town where terrorists had opened fire on the District President of BJP, Mr. Santosh Thakur. He too breathed his last in the absence of a doctor. Killing of Mr. Bhandari and Mr. Thakur is the part of the same plan which the terrorists have implemented successfully in Kashmir Valley.
Government's lenient attitude
Hundreds of Hindus had been forced to migrate from Doda district and an equal number of innocent citizens have lost their lives because of lenient attitude adopted by the State and Central Governments against the terrorists in Doda district. It is said that since 1989, two hundred people have been made the victim of selective killings. After Santosh Thakur, Kartar Singh was strangled and his body was hangled in a cow shed on January 8, 1993. Similarly terrorists abducted a social worker, Mohan Singh, from his Bajarani village and his tongue was chopped and eyes gouged out and after that he was hanged by a balance to death in a cooperative shop.
The terrorists have succeeded in carrying out raids on the godowns of Dul-Hasti power project, PWD, GREF and carried away remote controls and valuable explosive rnaterial. It is said that whatever arms and explosive material terrorists took away from these godowns was sufficient to produce 10,000 bombs. Last year terrorists attacked police stations and posts at Dachhan, Marwah, Wadwan, Chhatroo, Paddar and Thathri and took away 65 weapons including fifty 303 rifles, stenguns, six loading rifles, eight pistols and over one dozen wireless sets and police uniforms. In the absence of any effective action against terrorists people are unhappy with the BSF and repose faith in the Army if it is called out.
About 500 Hindu employees went on strike for 25 days under the leadership of United Sangharsh Samiti in protest against rise of terrorism in Bhaderwah and to press upon the Government to hand over Doda district to the Army after declaring the area as disturbed. The strike was called off on the appeal of four BJP MPs who had visited Jammu. According to Brij Bhushan Rathore leader of minority employees union of Bhaderwah the Government wanted to secure in writing from the employees that they were not on strike for 25 days and those who give this undertaking would be given wages. This is strange and smacks of partisanship. In 1991, 1.37 lakh Muslim employees went on 72-day strike to press for the release of those Government officials who were supporters of terrorism but the State Government took no action against the striking employees. But now the same Government is teasing and tormenting those Hindu employees who had launched a campaign against terrorism, separatism and anti-national activities of the militants.
A large number of people have alleged that the then Deputy Commissioner of Doda has remained a supporter of terrorists and had made the administration ineffective. This information was given by Vice-President of BJP Mr. Vishno Kant Shastri after he toured Doda area. While talking about the double standards of the State Government Mr. Shastri has said that no relief and ex-graita payment had been made to those Hindu families whose members had become victim of the bullets of terrorists. Even if some of them have got it, they have got it after a great labour but on the other hand terrorists killed in encounter with police are declared as innocent and their family members are given Rs. one lakh as ex-gratia relief immediately. Leaders of Congress, Janata Dal and Communist Party met the BJP delegation and they too urged the Government to take strict action against militants.
Terrorist elements in administration
To what extent separatists and terrorists have intluenced the administration and to what degree nationalist citizens are subjected to atrocities are amplified by one incident. After the killing of a Hindu leader, Santosh Thakur, Kishtwar witnessed communal tension. The district administration handed over law and order to those Jawans of Kashmir Armed Police who had revolted against India in Kashmir. These very Jawans mercilessly beat many innocent people. About 20 Hindu youths were first beaten up, then arrested and were subjected to ordeals in the police station. In order to secure the release of these youths about 500 Hindu women staged demonstration after defying curfew restrictions. These women demonstrators were lathicharged and water cannons were hurled on them. In the same way another anti-terrorist demonstration was fired on without any warning. About 2000 women and hundreds of men had participated in this procession. Mr. Jagdish Raj, Secretary District Unit of Janata Party, was an eye witness to the police firing on May 13.
There are a number of examples to prcve administration partiality. It is said that those local Muslim employees who crossed over to Pakistan for arms training were paid full salary after they returned to Doda. One peon of Government school at village Seri (Bhaderwah), Sheikh Abdul Rehman had gone to Pakistan for arms training. Despite being involved in three killings one official of the Forest Department used to carry his salary to his house.
There are about 500 terrorists in Bhaderwah tehsil among them the majority are the Pakistan trained. Terrorists infiltrate into Bhaderwah from Doda town. There Hizbul Mujahideen and Al-Jehad militant outfits are active after Muslim Janbaaz force merged with Al-Jehad. During raids on the houses belonging to Muslims the Army has seen that the children of these families keen on writing on their note books pro-Pakistan slogans and the names of banned organisations. To understand the work style of the terrorists, here is one example. A priest of Radhay Shayam Mandir received a threatening letter, "Stop the loud speaker of the temple. There should be no sound of conch and the bell from the temple. We get disturbed by this. In case of any defiance to these orders, you will be killed". Only from Doda Tehsil 100 families have migrated. All the school buildings in the rural areas of this Tehsil have been torched by the terrorists. And those schools which have been spared so far neither the National Anthem is sung nor Hindi subject is being taught. The State Government has shifted the branches of J&K Bank from Kastigarh and Bhagwah areas out of fear from terrorists.
Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti
In the light of growing terrorism in Doda district local people have set up a United Sangharsh Samiti. All political, social and religious organisations are members of this Samiti. This campaign has the support of local Congress, Janata Dal and BJP. People of Doda demand that the Government should make available weapons to them so that they can fight terrorists. These people do not want to leave their land of birth. The situation indicates that Doda is going the way the Kashmir has gone. Had the Government given weapons to the Hindus in Kashmir possibly, they would not have been forced to migrate from the Valley ? The Samiti urged the Government of India to declare Doda as disturbed area and hand over the district to the Army. In addition to this it has demanded that 10,000 ex-servicemen be given latest weapons and village defence committees be set up. Infiltration from five passes from Kashmir be completely plugged. Once the infiltration routes sealed, it will neither allow Pak-trained militants to enter Doda nor will youth of Doda succeed in going out of the district.
The directionless policy and silence of Government of India are proving detrimental to the interests of nationalist people of Doda district whose patriotic feelings are being crushed. The partial role of the local administration is proving highly painful for the youth fighting for nation's integrity. When these nationalists and unarmed youth see themselves how terrorists resort to mercilessly killings, rape and arson, they get shocked and terrified. They get seized of an urge to fight when they see how their culture is being destroyed in front of them. These youths are ready to sacrifice anything for the protection of their houses, land, property and religious places but there is no encouragement to them from the Government. These youths demand arms for self-defence but the so-called secular Government has failed to understand their feelings and emotions with the result they are forced to die unarmed. The Government should pay attention to it. These nationalist youths are getting angry and surcharged day-by-day which can be judged from the forceful reaction from their side. After all, how long this nationalist society will tolerate insult ? What is its sin if the Hindu society in Doda has decided to stay back till the last drop of their blood ? The Hindus need full patting. But the policy of appeasement and the politics of vote bank on the part of the Government of India did not allow it to adopt proper, bold and just measures. But the time does not wait. If the Central Government does not take any step to crush terrorism and anti-nationalism, it would have to face the anger of the nationalist youths. This is the way of nationalism and patriotism.
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