Published On : Mon, Jul 27th, 2015

Punjab back on the boil after 2 decades of peace?

punjabterrorattack1Gurdaspur/Nagpur: Police station and Bus stand attacked. Over 7 dead. Live bombs recovered from Railway lines. What is happening suddenly in Punjab? In response to the shocking attacks by ‘Mujahideen’ in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, and the ongoing action at Dinapur Police station, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called an emergency meeting of the cabinet to discuss the situation.
Meanwhile, the Army has been called in and are already deployed in large numbers in handling the situation.
As per latest news, seven persons, policemen mostly,  have been killed in the ‘suicide attacks’ on the police station. Some terrorists are still holed in , at the police campus and have been surrounded by large contingent of Indian Army.
Why the attacks now?
Why these attacks in Punjab now? Many disturbing questions are being raised?
  • Is the ‘Khalistan movement’ back after a hiatus of over 20 years? The Khalistan story had ended with Operation Bluestar that culminated in the assassination of then PM, Indira Gandhi and the large scale ‘rioting’ that resulted in the carnage of many Sikhs in Delhi and around. Is this ugly movement raising its head again, supported by our neighbors?
  • Is the Pakistan Army and ISU looking for soft targets along our border states since the borders themselves are heavily secured now and any acts of aggression there are being dealt with equal aggression? Since they cannot fight our soldiers at the border, ISI is looking for soft targets in Civilian areas, and Punjab is the area they have zeroed in upon. Could such instances aggravate in this state, and could it spread to other states where other forms of ‘terrorism’ like Naxalites are active?
The timing of the attacks
  • The timing of the attacks – it could be no co incidence that these attacks are happening when Monsoon Parliament is in session and is turning out to be a stormy one with BJP and Congress sticking to their stubborn agendas and not letting Parliament function.

  • The Supreme court today is hearing final petitions before Yakub Memon can be hanged. All eyes are on the Supreme Court decision: will he hang or will he get last minute relief? This happening is whipping up a lot of tension and feeling of aggravation, not just among the radical Muslim outfits but also within civil society in India with some BJP politicians like Shatrughan Sinha also being one of the signatories to a mercy petition. Will the outcome of this case also re ignite Hindu – Muslim animosities which are always simmering under the surface in India?

  • The daily news in Indian newspapers about how the present day Government seems to be following an agenda of being ‘soft’ on ‘Hindu terrorists’ is also not helping matters.
Unless our political system and all  our political parties find a way of getting out of their fixed mind sets and aknowledge that the secular fabric of Indian Society and security of life itself is again under siege our enemies will continue trying to exploit the situation.
In all this turmoil, which seems to be scripted all over again, I remember a song we used to sing in our School Assembly back in the 60s when Indo-China and Indo-Pak wars were happening constantly –
“Jhak rahe hai apne dushman apni hi deewaron se, sambhal ke rehna desh ke wasi chupe huey gandaron se”

Sunita Mudliyar – Associate Editor