This article first appeared in Rightlog.in on May 13, 2017, under the title “That’s it, we reached the melting point. At a minimum, the following need to be done at the earliest”. The link to that article is here: (Click to read)
Lt. Ummer Fayaz Parry was killed twice – once when he was riddled with bullets, his lifeless body discarded like a rag and the second time when some unconfirmed reports from the valley suggested that some “misguided” youth pelted stones at the vehicle carrying his lifeless body to his ultimate resting place. Be that as it may, what we are witnessing in a small pocket of Kashmir is not kashmiriyat but Islamism.
The false narrative perpetuated by the “usual suspects” – a motley club of the left-liberal cabal, opportunistic politicians, and the co-opted journalists living in an echo chamber of this, being an unequal fight between a group of “misguided” youth fighting with sticks and stones against the might of the Indian army armed to its teeth with modern weapons needs to be junked and given an unceremonious burial in an unmarked grave.
The cold blooded killing of Lt. Ummer Fayaz is a watershed moment in more ways than one. For a start, in one sense the terrorists killed “one of their own” – Ummer Fayaz epitomized the true essence of “Kashmiriyat” someone who chose India over Pakistan, service to the nation over terrorism, a difficult life in the army versus a life of relative comfort as an engineer.
The terrorists by killing an unarmed man when he was on leave and was taking part in a family marriage function crossed the last line of tolerance. There has been an unwritten rule in the Kashmir valley that unarmed members of the defense forces and their family members were not to be targeted. This brutal killing of Ummer Fayaz comes close on the heels of the cold blooded murder of five policemen and two bank guards by terrorists owing allegiance to the Hizbul Mujahideen.
All seven killed were local Muslims – Kashmiris who believed in the idea of India. This brutal killing has the imprints of the Pak hand all over it in its brutality, ruthlessness, and the torture and mutilation that was seems to have happened both ante and post mortem.
Ummer Fayaz was 22 years young, one month shy of his twenty third birthday and with a long and bright future in front of him.
Born on June 8, 1994 in the little hamlet of Sursanoo located in Yaripora village of Kulgam district Ummer was a bright boy who completed his schooling from the Goodwill Army School in Pahalgam.
His father Fayaz Ahmed Parry an apple farmer had big dreams – he wanted his son to become a pilot. Ummer himself was preparing for the All India Engineering Entrance Examination having performed exceptionally well in his 12th standard examination securing 96% but qualified for the National Defence Academy (NDA). Despite his father telling him about his dream and despite having prepared for the Engineering Entrance Exams, Ummer chose a career in the army over everything else.
He performed exceptionally well in the NDA training as well and was posted as an officer in the second battalion of the Rajputana Rifles. He was on leave to attend his cousin’s wedding and was not afraid of going back home because he thought that he “knew” the people back home and there was nothing to worry. The unkindest cut is the fact that he was betrayed and stabbed in the back by some of his “own” people.
The local Hizbul Mujahideen is suspected to be involved in this killing – the very same group that was headed earlier by Burhan Wani who was killed by the army last year. The muted condemnation and the lack of outrage exhibited by the so called moderate separatists of the Hurriyat conference, their paid rabble rousers, and those of the left cabal living in their own echo chambers at the death of Lt. Ummer Fayaz Parry stands in stark contrast to the outrage and noise that they generated when a terrorist like Burhan Wani was shot dead.
We had journalists write moving eulogies about the “poor headmaster’s son” the great “social media phenomenon” who was unjustly “martyred” by the army. The echo chambers that reverberated then are strangely silent today or perhaps not strangely, given their obvious dislike of the Indian state and more importantly the present dispensation at the center and the state.
This killing of an unarmed army officer more than any other event is a true watershed moment politically, militarily, strategically, and tactically for the army as well as the NDA government both at the center and in partnership with the PDP at the State level. It is not enough to make the right noises and promise retribution through the army.
It is time the necessary steps are taken to wipe out the menace of terrorism from the valley and bring it back to normal at the earliest. Failure to do so would mean a failure to fulfill the mandate that the people gave them.
At a minimum the following need to be done at the earliest:
-Give a free hand to the army and the local police to deal ruthlessly with the terrorists – something on the lines of what was done under Mr. KPS Gill in Punjab during the eighties
-Refuse to have any talks with sympathizers and covert supporters of terrorists – moderate or otherwise
-Place all leaders of the Hurriyat and similar organizations under house arrest and revoke their Indian passports and prevent their free travel within India or outside India.
-Clearly differentiate between the disgruntled elements within the population and those who have been radicalized – take the strictest action against the radicalized elements and look at bringing the disgruntled elements into the mainstream by offering jobs and/or opportunities to set up their own businesses.
-Clearly state that no talks would be held (a) till the time terrorism is completely wiped out (b) with Pakistan or sympathizers of Pakistan (c) without representatives from the Kashmiri Pundit community and those from Jammu and Ladakh included as equal stakeholders in the dispute (d) till the time it is clearly accepted by all stakeholders that Kashmir has, is, and will always remain an integral part of India.
-Take the necessary steps to revoke article 370 of the constitution which was only a temporary provision under the constitution at the time it was introduced
-Start the process of rehabilitating and re-populating the valley with the Kashmiri Pundits to correct the ethnic imbalance and turn the tables on the jihadi elements within the valley. These settlements should be initially under army protection.
-Declare a state of emergency in those parts of Kashmir that have been most affected and are facing the worst terrorist attacks.