As though tackling terrorism was not enough, now comes another move which definitely borders on the ridiculous and the extent to which policy of appeasement is being carried by the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, which is to support the kin of terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir.
There could be no better ammunition for the Opposition, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to buttress its argument that the ruling UPA has been soft on terrorism than by undertaking such an exercise.
The UPA government soon after coming to power did away with POTA describing it as being aimed at a particular community.
And now this move could only make matters worse in the country where the threat from terrorists has been growing almost day by day and till date no firm action has been taken nor any terrorist of repute been caught by the government.
The argument maybe that the kin has nothing to do with the killed terrorist but it definitely would encourage more youngsters to take to the gun against the State as their families would be supported by the State in case of their death.
With the elections to the J&K Assembly slated for later this year, what better sop to get votes than this.
It is definitely a ridiculous extent to which ?policy of appeasement is being carried on by the government,? and if such a policy is put in place, it would only encourage growth not only in terrorism in J & K but also groups like Naxalites and Maoists whose families can demand compensation.
This recommendation by the working group on J & K has been justified by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad whose line of argument is that the dependents of terrorists killed in police encounters should not be victimised and instead be rehabilitated so as to wean them away from militancy.
However, the move has been opposed by senior security personnel who say that when families of their personnel killed in encounters with terrorists are not adequately compensated then why should the members of families of those who have taken the violent path be given State support.
As one official said ?such a move would only encourage more and more youth of the State to take to arms and follow the jihadi path in the knowledge that their families would be taken care of in case they are killed.?
As security personnel argued ?why doesn'tthe government first think of bringing the allowances of our men deployed in J&K on par with that in the Army??
As security agencies rightly argue that extending relief to the dependents of Kashmiri terrorists would open a Pandora'sBox with the relatives of naxalites and the insurgent groups in North East states also seeking compensation.
The argument would be that the widows and orphans of militants should not be punished for no fault of theirs for after all they did not break the law but it was one of their kin.
Ironically, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had chaired a meeting to consider at the highest level such a suggestion but it continued to drag its feet over the demand of para-military forces for exemption from the new pension scheme.