From Our Correspondent
AS the coalition government of Jammu and Kashmir has already declined to apply POTA to deal with terror, the clear indications of the new Congress-led government at the Centre to bury this stringent law may not have any immediate bearing in the trouble-torn state, but it would definitely add to the alleged confusing policies being already pursued. According to the leaders of the BJP and other adversaries of the Congress, this would aggravate the problems in dealing with the menace of armed militancy.
As far as the ultras are concerned, they have already started calling the tune. The day the new government at the Centre took over the reins of power, viz. on May 21, the terrorists detonated a bus of the Border Security Force in Kashmir, claiming lives of over 30 BSF personnel and their family members, including children, who were on their way to Jammu to celebrate their holidays.
In addition to this alarming incident, the ultras have already stepped up their acts of violence and many innocent civilians and others are being targetted. Since May 13, after the results to the Lok Sabha elections were announced, in the first fortnight nearly 30 persons have been done to death. They also include many civilians. The terrorists struck again to punish them for not abiding by their dictates to boycott the polls. Some civilians were slaughtered and in one case a youth was beaten with lathis.
The UPA at its pseudo best
As far as the state government leaders are concerned, they are talking more about adopting the policy of the ?healing touch? by sweeping the POTA under the carpet. Under this policy the ultras, who surrender their arms are being paid a monthly allowance of Rs 2000 in addition to two fixed deposits of Rs 1.50 lakh each.
Here, it any be noted that the Special Police Officers (SPOs) who have been engaged to fight the terrorists are being paid only Rs 1,500 per month.
Prior to the present government in power in this state, the previous government had registered about 150 cases under POTA. But the Congress-PDP-led alliance not only instructed the police to not register any more cases under POTA, but also the cases that had been registered earlier were not pursued. This resulted in release of even those persons who were involved in massacres and blasts. A most glaring example in this regard is the carnage of over 30 innocent labourers and poor workers of Rajivnagar in the outskirts of the city. To console the living members of the families, Smt. Sonia Gandhi had also visited the site after the visit of the then Deputy Prime Minister, Shri L.K. Advani.
In this connection more than a dozen persons including a Pakistani national were arrested under POTA. But what has happened to this case is anybody'sguess. It is said that most of the accused have since been released on bail.