- Yasin Malik, Kashmiri separatist leader and chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation was trained in Pak based training camps, has had a history of militancy and is still known for his largely disruptive activities in the valley. This is true even in the present time, as the state passes though a terrible natural calamity.
- Reports allege that Yasin Malik and his supporters have been disrupting rescue and relief operations during the Jammu & Kashmir floods. Though the allegations have been denied by the separatist, there is some evidence to suggest that the allegations are true. According to Malik, Kashmiris don’t want the army’s help. Previously an army source had spoken about Malik’s men having forced some unwell women to disembark from a rescue boat. As the women protested, they were shouted at in Kashmiri and asked to be quiet. (Source DNA).
- A rescue boat loaded with relief supplies was reportedly high jacked by Malik and his supporters. According to one rescue worker, who had gone to distribute groceries in the Lal Chowk area along with 4 boats, Malik and his men snatched one of the boats, put their own belongings in it and went away. (Source – India Today)
- There have been instances of stone pelting against the Armed Forces and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) relief teams as aid choppers and boats were met with hostility. There have also been reports of 2 NDRF personnel being seriously injured following the hostilities. According to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the stone pelters are outsiders trying to create a wedge between the army and the Kashmiri people.
- It is unfortunate that even at a time of a grave natural calamity such as the worst flood to visit the state in 60 years (in more than 100 years according to some claims), the militants and insurgents continue to try and pursue personal agendas in the state.
- Kashmiris are asking – where have the separatist leaders disappeared when there is such a grim situation on the ground. A leader such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who always claims to be concerned about the rights of the people of the state, has been conspicuous by his absence.
- The armed forces however are determined not to let anything come in the way of rescue and relief operations and have pledged to continue until the last person has been rescued. In the words of Army Chief General Dalbir Singh, “Army will not move back to the barracks till the last man is brought to safety.” (Source – International Business Times)
- What is heartening is that many local Kashmiris have now joined hands with the armed forces and the NDRF rescue teams in helping transport food, water and other necessities to those rendered homeless. Even as separatists try to derail operations, a majority of residents are helping in relief operations. (Source – New Indian Express)
Image source – Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani