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The divide is growing in a fragmented Jammu & Kashmir

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Three trends in Jammu and Kashmir stand out in the year 2018 — the conflation of civilian protests with militancy in the Valley; a complete breakdown in the political consensus between the Valley and the rest of the state; and the further fragmenting of opinion within the Kashmir Valley itself. The year came to a close with the tragic death of six civilians during an encounter in the Valley’s Pulwama district. This horrific event, which also saw the killing of three hardcore terrorists and an Army soldier, marked the culmination of a process that has been gathering steam for more than a year.

Increasingly, civilian supporters of the Kashmir militancy, especially the youth, are actively conniving with terrorists to disrupt counter-insurgency operations and highlight their narrative of resistance.

Civilian killings by the security forces feeds a dynamic set in motion by the terrorist masterminds in the Valley and across the border in Pakistan. It reinforces the narrative that New Delhi is brutally suppressing the “freedom-loving” people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The images of civilians with bullet wounds, mass funerals and frenzied mobs chanting anti-India slogans fuel the anti-Indian narrative which is broadcast by Pakistan and its proxies all over the world, including forums such as the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Conference. The notion of Indian repression in Kashmir is thereby further concretised in the global mind. Nuances are lost and so is the reality........

© Deccan Chronicle