Attacks in south Kashmir raise questions over normalcy claims: J&K political parties

On Tuesday evening, terrorists shot at and injured two non-local labourers in Anantnag. Hours later, two forest department employees were shot at and injured in Pulwama

National Conference (NC) MP Hasnain Masoodi (Photo: NH File Photo)
National Conference (NC) MP Hasnain Masoodi (Photo: NH File Photo)


Back-to-back attacks in south Kashmir are a matter of concern and pose questions to the government's narrative that terrorism has been eliminated from the valley, National Conference (NC) MP Hasnain Masoodi said in Srinagar on Wednesday.

"Our leadership has condemned these attacks. But at the same time, a narrative has been built about the security system and the government was very confident that every last diameter of militancy has been obliterated," Masoodi told PTI.

The member of Parliament from south Kashmir's Anantnag said the attacks have raised questions on the authorities' confidence over the security scenario in Kashmir.

"Then the question arises, why do you have three to four incidents within such a short span of time? Who is doing this? Therefore, it is a matter of concern and it poses questions to the authorities that were very confident and convincing about the security system," he added.

Three back-to-back attacks were carried out by terrorists in south Kashmir's Shopian, Anantnag and Pulwama districts over the last six days.

Three non-local labourers were injured on Thursday, when terrorists fired upon them in the Gagren area of Shopian.

On Tuesday evening, terrorists shot at and injured two non-local labourers in Anantnag. Hours later, two forest department employees were shot at and injured in Pulwama.

Asked about the new national-level opposition alliance -- INDIA, of which the NC is a part -- Masoodi said the core motto is to protect the Constitution and the country.

"The laws and the values of the Constitution, which have been eroded by the party that is in the power, is the major reason for the formation of the new alliance. We, as part of the alliance, also contribute to the same ideology and propose to strive to strengthen and protect the institution of Constitution and uphold the constitutional values," he said.

The NC leader said his party "will be actively advocating the philosophy of the Constitution in this newly-formed alliance".

Setting the tone for their 2024 Lok Sabha polls campaign, 26 opposition parties on Tuesday formed a coalition -- Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) -- to unitedly take on the ruling BJP-led NDA, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asserting that the fight will be "between INDIA and Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

Asked if there were any formal discussions over seat sharing at the opposition meeting in Bengaluru, Masoodi said it is essentially an ideological coalition and not an electoral alliance.

"Our party is a small regional party, we do not contest elections in Haryana, Punjab or anywhere else in the country. Jammu and Kashmir is the only place where we contest elections. It should not be interpreted as an electoral alliance, it is essentially an ideological alliance. We believe in the same values and they (the other parties in the coalition) also claim to believe in the same values," he added.

Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader M Y Tarigami also condemned the terror attacks and questioned the claims of normalcy.

"The government claims that there is improvement in the security situation, but it is extremely unfortunate that the cycle of attacks on unarmed civilians, primarily labourers from Bihar, has started again," he said.

Tarigami appealed to people to raise their voice against such attacks.

"For how long will this bloodshed continue? Why are innocents being targeted? Whatever the political situation is, there is no justification for killing or attacking civilians and unarmed labourers. Not at all. This is barbaric to say the least," he said.

The CPI(M) leader said non-local labourers come here to earn their livelihood and they do not have any political plan or design.

"This cycle of violence must stop immediately and that is why we appeal to every section of the population to raise their voice. We certainly want the government to take appropriate measures to protect the labourers working here and they must ensure their safety.

"Locals must also come forward for their protection, so that they can work with full dignity," he added. 

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