‘Norms’ of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

The Pulwama incident has once again raised political temperatures in Jammu & Kashmir. Three terrorists, who were being sheltered by villagers, and who fled into an orchard when Security Forces (SFs) arrived at the site on specific information regarding their presence, were killed in the ensuing encounter.

A violent stone pelting mob sought to obstruct SFs during and after the operation. Seven villagers were killed in retaliatory fire by SFs, and an estimated 35 were injured.

One Army man also lost his life.

The loss of life in this incident, and in the numberless others that have preceded it in the State, is tragic and must be a matter, both, of concern and of objective analysis. The latter has been conspicuous in its absence in the wake of this latest episode.

Indeed, the dominant commentary has sought to blame the SFs for excessive use of force against ‘innocent’ or ‘unarmed’ civilians.  Read More

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