“I feel Jammu will be the most vulnerable, because that is nearest to both Pakistan and Kashmir. Already, since 2008, there has been a divide. Communalism has grown, so Jammu becomes the most vulnerable. In fact, there are more attacks on the security forces in the Jammu area now than in Srinagar,” said a worried Amarjit Singh Dulat, the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau and the former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)
Dulat believes that though there was an inevitability about the abrogation of Article 370 ever since BJP came back with brute majority in 2019, but common sense says there will be reactions in course of time. “In fact, it has already begun. It’s a question of somebody going mad. It is a question of somebody thinking that they have nothing to lose. As it is the Kashmiri has been feeling that for some time... When boys feel it, that is the danger,” underscores Dulat.
Jammu will need special security and good intelligence. “The trouble with intelligence and security is that there is nothing which is foolproof. If some is prepared to die, then he will die. And how he commits suicide is of his choosing, his timing. After all, when 9/11 happened, who could have believed that there are people mad enough to fly these planes into the twin towers. So, here also that madness will have to be watched closely. Already there were boys who were ready to do these things, now there will be more boys and more determination.”
The Centre should not have done what it did using force as the Kashmiris feel that the union government is not interested in the people, feels the former RAW chief. “The reality on the ground before the August 5, 2019, was that the Kashmiri had acknowledged that the best they can get is the status quo. They wanted to be treated properly, get justice, can there be peace with honour. They wanted to be treated like the rest of the country – like the UPites, Bengalis or Biharis,” explained Dulat.
Kashmiris have been saying for quite some time now that Delhi is not interested in the people, they only want the land. That’s what P Chidambaram has said – that Delhi is looking for real estate. And he also says that the price of this real estate could be very high, implying that we will have to pay for it. He said it in Parliament too. He is an intelligent man and he is the only one who has been saying it.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on August 5, 2019, announced first in Rajya Sabha that the Bharatiya Janata Party government would nullify Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. It had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir as well as formalised the terms of accession of J&K to the Indian Union. On the same day Shah announced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, which reorganised the state of J&K into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Since the President’s Rule had been imposed in the state since December 2018, the Centre used the presidential order to get Governor Satyapal Malik’s assent to the Abrogation of Article 370 instead of the state legislature.
The full interview will appear in National Herald on Sunday dated August 18