Indian print and electronic media are running a propaganda campaign in which they have claimed killing 13 militants in a period of 4 days in Machil, Uri and Poonch sectors in counter infiltration.
There have been graphic details provided by the Indian army, which in its usual display of jingoism claims in a statement: “The sinister designs of Pakistan Army to push in multiple groups of armed intruders across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir continue to be defeated by pro-active operations being carried out on the LoC”
There appears to be a method in the madness because the announcement came at a time when relations between Pakistan and India have nosedived following repeated ceasefire violations by India and the unrest in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). India accuses Pakistan of fomenting trouble in the strife torn Valley, although the freedom movement is home grown and has become worse with the brutal assassination of young Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani last year on July 8. Since then, protests have snowballed in a massive movement. To suppress the Kashmiri youth, Indian forces have resorted to the use of pellet guns, which have martyred over 200 while more than 3,500 have been blinded by the cruel Indian military forces. Indian army even took the extreme measure of tying up an innocent Kashmiri, Farooq Dar, to the bonnet of a jeep and paraded the streets of Srinagar, using the hapless Kashmiri as a human shield. To rub salt in the wound, despite the protests of human rights activists, the perpetrator of the heinous deed, Major Nitin Gogol was praised and awarded by the Indian Army Chief and cited for gallantry.
In order to divert world opinion from its own atrocities, India is using numerous reprehensible tactics. Besides shelling across the LoC in an unprovoked manner, Indian forces are causing casualties of innocent civilians but when Pakistani forces retaliate in the counter shelling, Indian government claims that Pakistan initiated the ceasefire violation.
The other Chanakyan trick of guile and deceit, which the Indian forces indulge in, is the execution of false flag operations, in which attacks are orchestrated on Indian military installations but it is claimed that Pakistan carried out the odious deed. India even attempts to draw international attention towards these false flag operations in a bid to malign Pakistan and have it declared a terrorist state. Innocent Kashmiris, murdered in cold blood and dressed in Pakistan Army uniforms with planted evidence, are presented as the perpetrators of the detestable attacks.
Indian machinations know no bounds but in its latest stratagem, fake encounters are being staged.
On June 9, 2017, it was alleged that five infiltrators (from Pakistan) were gunned down by the Indian army in north Kashmir’s Uri sector. It was claimed that Indian forces had been engaging with “armed militants” in four sectors – Machil, Naugam, Gurez and Uri – across three frontier districts of north Kashmir since the morning of June 7th.
This year, at the first anniversary of Burhan Wani’s martyrdom, India knew that protest rallies would be held throughout IOK.
Indian forces claimed that while three militants were killed in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district on June 8, four others were eliminated in Machil the previous day. It was conceded that a soldier, identified as Tara Bahadur Roka, also died in Nowgam.
“Relentless operations mounted by troops have successfully intercepted groups of intruders all along the LoC in Gurez, Machil, Naugam and Uri sectors leading to the elimination of 13 intruders during the last 96 hours,” the army statement said.
“The explosives, arms and ammunition recovered from them are an indication of Pakistan’s designs to orchestrate high-profile terror attacks on innocent civilians and security forces during the holy month of Ramadan.”
India went on to boast that forty militants have been killed in infiltration attempts since the beginning of this year.
In continuation of the same narrative of the fake encounter in Anantnag, it was announced that militants opened fire at two vehicles carrying Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel at Vessu along the Srinagar-Jammu highway in the wee hours of Saturday, June 10. However, they missed and injured a civilian driving a car behind them. The so called civilian, Arif from Anantnag district, was on his way to Banihal when he was struck in the back. He was taken to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar, where doctors declared him stable.
To provide evidence to support the fake encounter, it was declared that twenty empty cases of Kalashnikov ammunition were recovered from the spot and a hunt has been launched for the attackers.
Indians went on to claim that this was the second militant attack on security forces at Anantnag’s Qazigund area over the last one week. Two soldiers were killed and four injured when militants ambushed an Army convoy near a toll booth at Qazigund on June 3rd.
In another declaration of falsehood, it was stated that security forces launched a brief search operation at Lal Chowk — Srinagar’s commercial hub — around noon on reports of militant activity. Indian Police refused to comment on the matter because obviously it never took place.
Facts on the ground are that Indian Army is targeting and killing innocent villagers residing on the LoC and declaring them as militants just to malign Pakistan Army for infiltrating militants to disturb the law and order situation in IOK.
It is a usual practice that during the spring season, locals residing on the LoC usually go close, in some cases, inadvertently they cross the LoC for logging or collection of medicinal herbs which are then sold in the market. Indian Army due to its aggressive attitude has started killing as well as apprehending these innocent Kashmiris and declaring them as militants or facilitators and propagating it as foiling of infiltration bids.
Reportedly, Indian Security Forces are also involved in the fake encounter of civilians and arrested Mujahedeen and stone pelters who are already in their custody. These actions are being taken to pressurise and create deterrence among the local populace living astride the LoC to avoid helping Mujahedeen and to control the ongoing uprising.
The intensification of Indian propaganda at this stage is designed to pressurise the government of Pakistan and Pakistan Army into retracting their support to Kashmir Freedom Struggle (KFS) and from highlighting the issue internationally.
It may be recalled that Pakistan had drawn attention to Indian atrocities in held Kashmir and also shed light on the brutal slaying of Burhan Wani. This year, at the first anniversary of Burhan Wani’s martyrdom, India knew that protest rallies would be held throughout IOK. That is why, to suppress the protest marches and subdue Kashmiri youth as well as malign Pakistan, India is conducting fake encounters.
By Sultan M Hali – The author is a retired Group Captain and author of the book Defence & Diplomacy. Currently, he is a columnist, analyst and TV talk show host.