COUNTER–INSURGENCY sarkari militant groups patronised by the Army, the Border Security Force(BSF), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Indo–Tibet Border Police (ITBP) have let loose a reign of terror in the Valley, before and after the elections.Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference made two promises during its election campaign: disarming the sarkari militant raj and restoration of the J and K’s pre–1953 status vis–a–vis New Delhi. Protecting people from the excesses of the armed forces was also implied. But arbitrary acts of the armed forces, appear to have actually increased after the formation of the civilian government.
Why? The decision of the state government to totally renege on its promise, opting instead to ‘regularise’ the sarkari militants by appointing them to the ranks of Special Police Officers or security officers for ministers and VIPs! Some have also been recruited into the SOG (Special Operations Group), also called the Special Task Force (STF) of the J and K police. This action amounts to putting the stamp of law on their illegal deeds. The victims of these sarkari militants have included journalists, lawyers, writers, teachers, human rights’ activists, cadre of the Jamaat–e–Islami and Hurriyat leaders. Ordinary civilians have been subjected to rape and torture.Several gross cases of human rights violation, rape and torture have been documented by several Indian human rights groups. Officers of the Indian army have been indicted in many of these cases. Even today, there are 60,000 army personnel Alongwith the BSF, CRPF, ITBF and the J and K STF, the figure is anywhere in the region of 1-1.5 lakhs