19 August 2019
Jammu/Srinagar: In a major breakthrough to identify rumour mongers bent upon creating trouble, Jammu and Kashmir and central intelligence agencies claim to have identified activists and sympathizers of mainstream political parties with separatist tendencies.
In a textbook case of politics making strange bedfellows, the intelligence agencies maintain that some mainstream political parties and separatists have found a common cause to work against the restoration of peace in the state.
"Rumours spread like wildfire in Jammu yesterday (Sunday) claiming that a communal flare-up had taken place in Surankote in Rajouri district," a senior intelligence officer told IANS.
"The rumour was well orchestrated. It caused panic in Jammu where people mobbed petrol pumps and provision stores fearing an impending curfew.
"The administration had a tough time convincing people that the rumour was baseless.
"We have identified the activists and sympathizers of one mainstream political party in Jammu who were spreading these rumours," the officer said.
The officer said those behind such rumours in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region belonged to three mainstream political parties whose top leadership had been taken into preventive custody since Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated.
"These activists and sympathizers have acted rather foolishly. They believed that we will be focused on separatists and they could create trouble on the sly.
"These elements have been identified and they will soon be isolated," the officer said.
What seems to have unnerved the sympathizers of these political parties is that their predictions of hell breaking loose once the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked had proved grossly misplaced.
"Such forces have realized that instead of being able to derive political mileage from the feared uncertainty, they are likely to become the victims of peace and prosperity that would follow Jammu and Kashmir's complete integration with India," said a BJP leader.
If these words of a senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader are true, is there anything strange about the Kashmir-centric political parties finding common cause with the separatists? Most probably not.