Srinagar: Days after a top official of CRPF expressed that ‘participation in elections is not a vote for India and strong anti India sentiments persist in Kashmir’; Chairman of separatist amalgam, Syed Ali Shah Geelani called the officer truthful and advised Indian government to pay heed to his suggestion.
Inspector General of CRPF, NC Asthana who currently holds the charge of COBRA force in an exclusive interview with Delhi based publication, Tehelkha had said, “Our contention is that elections don’t prove that people are reposing their trust in Indian system. The 2009 election saw a reasonable voter turnout. But 14 days after the elections, the Shopian incident happened. Bodies of two young women were recovered from the Rambiara River. There was no evidence of rape, no medical examination that could confirm rape. But Kashmir burnt for 47 days,” Asthana said.
While praising Asthana, Geelani said that if India pays heed to such honest and truthful officers, Kashmir issue can be solved easily.
Cementing his argument that anti India sentiment is persistent in Kashmir, Asthana had said, “Kashmiris’ come out on roads to protest the death of even non-local militants. If a local boy is killed, some resentment is understood. But even when a man patently from outside Kashmir is gunned down, there is very strong protest action. Even if a militant is an outsider, he is eulogized.”
Geelani responded by saying that whatever the Officer has said is written on the forehead of every Kashmiri and whatever India does, it will never be able to erase its inscription.
Asthana and his wife Anjali Nirmal who holds a doctorate in police administration have taken an objective look at India’s security establishment in their upcoming book- ‘India’s Internal Security: The Actual Concerns’, which is scheduled to be launched in August.
Asthana says that book dwells into the Intelligence failure, media’s role and victimization of Muslims.
Zahid Maqbool is a freelance journalist based in Srinagar.