Fear as instrument of terror
by Jaibans Singh on 14 Oct 2021 27 Comments

“Fear” is the primary instrument to sustain terror. Terrorists depend upon their ability to instill fear to further their unholy activities, be it the wanton killing of innocents, recruitment into their fold or seeking administrative support. As the terrorist diktat in Kashmir wanes, they have once again resorted to the fear factor to keep themselves afloat. This is apparent from the brutal murders of innocent civilians in Kashmir over the last few days.


The main person targeted in the fear-based strategy of the terrorists was Makhan Lal Bindroo, a famous and well respected pharmacist of Kashmir who was shot dead on October 5, 2021. It seems Mr. Bindroo was specially chosen because he was a prominent and iconic Pandit face in Kashmir. He did not leave the Valley even at the peak of terrorism and his pharmacy was famous for its clean, drug-free and professional standards (despite pressures, he refused to sell medicines or even cough syrup, to addicts, without a doctor’s prescription).


The same day (October 5), Virender Paswan, a street hawker from Bihar was killed in a typically brutal terrorist attack. Two days later (October 7), terrorists entered a government school in Eidgah, Srinagar, and shot dead the Principal, Satinder Kaur, and a teacher, Deepak Chand.


Such attacks have gained momentum since the second anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. On that day itself terrorists lobbed two grenades at security forces in the Bemina area of Srinagar. A large number of grenade attacks have been reported since then in diverse places like Ramban, Rajouri, Amira Kadal and Aafa Kadal area of Srinagar, etc. These grenade attacks targetted both civilians and security forces; they caused some splinter injuries but did not result in deaths.


Quite obviously they were not having the impact that the terrorist masters from across the border wanted, so they planned to up the ante. This could well be the main reason behind the targetted killings of minorities that has been witnessed in the last few days.


The terrorists have failed miserably in their objective of cowing down the civilian population of Kashmir by resorting to such barbaric acts. This was apparent from the large number of people attending the funeral of M.L. Bindroo. Even senior political leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti paid respects to the departed soul and offered condolences to the family. Sadly, none from the separatist Hurriyat conglomerate, who leave no opportunity to present themselves as the true representatives of the Kashmiri people, condemned the dastardly terrorist acts.


Dr. Shraddha, daughter of the late M.L. Bindroo, delivered a slap on the face of the terrorists in a spirited address to the media, the video of which has gone viral across the world, wherein she conveyed the folly and futility of the mindless killings the terrorists are indulging in. “He will never die. You can just kill the body. And I being a Hindu I have read the Quran which says that the body will transform but its spirit will remain. M.L. Bindroo will remain alive in spirit”. The fearless young lady did not shed a tear and invited the terrorists to debate their issues instead of pulling the trigger on an aged and defenseless man. 


One big reason for the spike in terrorist attacks is desperation within the leadership with regard to the proposed return of the Kashmir Pandit community to their homeland. The terrorist masters are aware that such a move will put the last nail on the coffin of terrorism since the valley will get back its syncretic character which was destroyed by them three decades ago. They wish to intimidate the Kashmiri Pandits and compel them to reverse their decision. Nothing of this sort is likely to happen; the Kashmiri Pandits will surely get back to their homeland and claim what is rightfully theirs.


Terrorists in Kashmir are losing their grip due to depleted strength and reduced recruitment from among the locals. They are taking desperate steps to boost their sagging confidence and self-esteem. The incidents of insane killings are not likely to change this reality that they no longer have a base in Kashmir.


On many previous occasions, terrorist leaders like Syed Salahuddin and even Hurriyat leaders have spoken against targeting of locals. They used to highlight the massive loss of goodwill due to such attacks. This policy seems to have undergone a paradigm shift in recent days, as they are no longer worried about their image among locals (which has fallen irretrievably); all they care about is the spread of fear and intimidation so as to remain relevant. 


The nation stands firmly with the people of Kashmir, the Government of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the security forces operating in the region, who are together fighting against an evil and remorseless enemy. The security forces are bound to hunt down the murderers of M.L. Bindroo and others and avenge their death in due course.


Despite the loss of precious lives, what has emerged clearly is that the terrorists are shaken by the slap on their collective faces by the locals in the aftermath of the murders committed in the last few days. They would have realised that they have made a huge mistake by hurting local sentiment. These acts will only accelerate their demise and the sacrifice of the soldiers and people of Jammu and Kashmir will not go in vain. We are now witnessing the beginning of the end of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.


(Jaibans Singh is a Geo-strategic analyst and columnist)

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