In the midst of a natural calamity of a humongous proportion that has affected lakhs of people in Jammu and Kashmir, separatist leaders in the valley have shown their ugly face yet again by leaving no stone unturned in order to create physical hurdles in the ongoing relief and rescue efforts carried out in the state.
On September 13, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, led a gang of unscrupulous elements and tried to derail the rescue and relief process launched by the Indian Army, under Operation Megh Rahat, in aid of the flood hit regions of Kashmir.
According to sources from the army's Northern Command, in an inhuman act of sorts, Malik and his supporters forced ailing lady patients to get off an Army relief boat despite strong criticism of the shocking move by women in the area. Malik told the army patrol to leave the patients and withdraw.
In spite of unprovoked stone pelting resorted to by a gang of hoodlums, the army choose to follow the dictum of patience and did not open fire on the gangsters, preferring to disengage and relocate to a nearby area till the crowd dispersed.
When the army patrol boat returned, the JKLF chief appeared from within a mob and told the boat patrol to disembark the patients and leave. He claimed the Kashmiris do not want the army rescue efforts to continue. Women in the boat and in the vicinity protested loudly at this insane act by a bunch of goons even as Mir, an aide of Yasin Malik, shouted at the ladies in Kashmiri and forced them to be silent.
In a second instance of perfidy, Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has appealed to Pakistan (Pakistan army) to come to the aid of the Kashmiri people. The fact, however, remains that his wishes are aimed at creating problems for the forces involved in the relief and rescue operations.
The Indian Armed Forces and state and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) has earned appreciation internationally for carrying out with its humanitarian tasks. This in spite of reports of personal losses suffered by the Army.
Needless to say that the separatists are already sensing their irrelevance and as a result of which they are carrying out with their dirty tricks.
Hence for all these reasons it would make sense for the Army to carry on with its humanitarian efforts in the flood-hit state and ignore the separatists for the best while keeping the option of putting them behind bars should they create any obstacles in the rescue and relief operation.