With infiltration from across the border and Line of Control likely to spike with the onset of summer, the security establishment is learnt to have conveyed to the Centre that imposition of Governor’s Rule could make it easier to contain extremist elements in Jammu and Kashmir, and help improve the overall security situation in the Valley.
The security establishment in the state has been worried about the homegrown militancy in South Kashmir, which has traditionally been a stronghold of the ruling PDP. Several instances of the snatching of weapons have been reported in this area, and videos and pictures have surfaced showing militants in groups of 30 or more.
Senior PDP leader, Public Works Minister and official spokesman of the J&K government, Nayeem Akhtar, told The Sunday Express that the government “has not been informed” about any move to impose Governor’s Rule on the state. “But whenever they (New Delhi) want to impose central rule, they can do that,” Akhtar said.
He said that “if it (Governor’s Rule) happens, it will not be the first time that Governor’s Rule is imposed in J&K”.
The security establishment would want some of the leaders of stone-pelting groups of protesters to be sent to prisons outside the Kashmir Valley, if not outside the state, official sources said.
The security establishment also believes the alliance between the PDP and BJP is one of the causes of Kashmiri anger. “If there is Governor’s Rule, it will at least take this one factor out of the equation. Other factors will remain, though,” a top security official told The Sunday Express.
Akhtar, however, said “such a measure” (imposing Governor’s Rule) hasn’t worked earlier”. An “exclusively military approach cannot provide any solution because we are dealing with people here”, he said. “It (the situation) can be only resolved with a sympathetic outreach which is the core theme of the agenda of (PDP-BJP) alliance.”
He said “nothing could be expected in the absence of an inclusive approach laced with humanitarian feelings and political outreach”.
“Of course, those who swear by the gun alone can be neutralised only through strong measures,” Akhtar said. “The real challenge is to seek the involvement of people in doing so, and to make militancy irrelevant and democracy the preferred option,” he said.
J&K has its own Constitution, and Governor’s Rule is imposed on the state for a period of six months in case of failure of the constitutional machinery, under Section 92 of the state Constitution. The proclamation is issued by the Governor after receiving the consent of the President of India. The state Assembly can be either dissolved or kept in suspended animation. If it is not possible to restore the constitutional machinery within six months, the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India are extended to J&K, and President’s Rule is imposed.
J&K Governor N N Vohra met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on May 5. Vohra has been governor of the state since 2008, and the state has seen three spells of Governor’s Rule in his tenure.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of attacks on security forces in the Valley in recent months. The abduction and killing of 22-year-old Lt Ummer Fayyaz in Shopian on Tuesday had been described as a “watershed moment” by the Army.