OPINION | What Pulwama Tells Us: Political Leadership Should Move Beyond Muscular Policy

On 15 December, following an encounter in which three terrorists were killed and one soldier martyred at Sirnoo village, stone pelting mobs clashed with the security forces. Fire was opened on the unruly crowd and seven civilians lost their lives. As usually happens in such incidents, the exact circumstances remain unclear.

The police released a statement that said that the crowd had come “dangerously close” to the encounter site, forcing the security forces to open fire. Some media reports suggested that the locals pelted stones on Army vehicles and attempted to climb onto them. Soldiers then fired on the crowd to extricate themselves.

There was a strong condemnation of the incident by local politicians, with accusations of excessive use of force and non-adherence to procedures. A retired Supreme Court judge went so far as to compare the Pulwama deaths to the Jallianwala Bagh and My Lai massacres. Read More

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