The students and youth of Kashmir are once again brining rage on the streets of the strife torn valley. While chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is grappling for giving some relief to her under fire government, the youth and especially college and university going students are up in arms against the government and it’s faulty policies to bring end to the cycle of death in the Kashmir valley. Kashmir is once again on the boil as students across the Valley participated in large numbers in different protests against the GDC Pulwama incident. Recently at least 60 students were injured in forces’ action when they barged in the Pulwama Degree College premises to quell protests. Police and CRPF men had used tear gas shells and pellets to control the protests. Monday protests came as a surprise as valley-wide protests by students is a rare phenomenon. But in the backdrop of changing atmosphere in the Valley, the protests do not seem as completely isolated incidents. The alienation is at its all time high, the space for reconciliation and peaceful dialogue has absolutely shrunk and in its place the mode of dissent has been shifted to ‘agitational’, which cannot avert violence as a consequence. For Police and CRPF who are still equipped with the sophisticated pellet guns, it may not be a different ballgame but for establishment it is going to be an uphill task. The policymakers may look a little beyond their usual complacency, but any strong action taken against students may have serious ramifications. This time, the demands of disenchanted youth cannot be brushed under the carpet with the label of “few miscreants” attached to close the case. The policymakers, despite being stirred have failed to read the writing on the wall and take necessary steps. As the grave situation in Kashmir continues to escalate, peace also has been fast receding with violence and bloodshed becoming the order of the day. People are now comparing Kashmir with some of the worst violence-hit places in the world. Some say it is becoming Palestine while others compare it with the conflict-ridden places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. While these comparisons are made, the world is also watching closely the developments in Kashmir and the manner in which Kashmir affairs are managed now. The state government looks hapless in the wake of continued protests that often take a violent turn with the political leaders demanding “maximum restraint” and “SOPs”, which never happen. The heavy presence of government forces, particularly in the most affected areas in Kashmir is like a powder keg, which can blow any time. A petrol bomb was earlier said to be hurled on a forces’ vehicle. The violence now does not seem to be confined to militancy and counterinsurgency operations.
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