Lahore   -   India has recently made some ominous moves in Occupied Kashmir causing scare and panic among the residents, and concern among sane residents of both India and Pakistan.

In a week, it has moved in over 35,000 additional troops in the Occupied Valley, which is already reeling under the heavy presence of the occupational forces.

This huge number is an addition to the already existing 40,000 troops who were deployed to guard the Amarnath Yatra, a Hindu pilgrimage.

The Modi government has also put the Air Force and Army on high operational alert in the state and has suspended Amarnath Yatra, telling tourists and pilgrims to return.

There are also reports that New Delhi is planning to scrap an Indian constitutional provision that disallows Indians to buy land in the Muslim-majority region, under a plan to change the demographics of the area as well as its status.

Some believe New Delhi, under a trifurcation plan, is going to grant statehood to Jammu, Union Territory status to Ladakh and separate statehood to the rest of Kashmir.

The Indian forces have also increased violations of ceasefire on the Line of Control. At least three civilians have been martyred and over a dozen injured in the firing by Indian troops in Azad Kashmir, which is under Pakistan’s control.

Pakistan has reacted sharply to these developments, and urged India not to try any misadventure. It has also warned India against forced settlement of Hindus in the Occupied Kashmir or any attempt at changing its status.

The perturbing activities of the occupational forces in Kashmir have alarmed the residents, who are staging demonstrations in favour of their cause of liberation from India.

On Friday, an Indian soldier was killed during a gunbattle with Kashmiri freedom fighters. The fighting erupted after police and soldiers cordoned off a village in the southern Shopian district on a tip that Kashmiri fighters were hiding there.

As the news of the fighting spread, anti-India protests and clashes broke out in solidarity with the freedom fighters.



Trifurcation talk

“Trifurcation is on the list. I can’t reveal much,” a top police official told an Indian news channel.

By Friday, August 2, the entire valley will be under the cover of the military, the police source told NewsClick on condition of anonymity.

The police official also said that some major announcement is in the offing and it might be announced on Saturday. As per the reports, the troops were partly dispatched on Thursday and are being inducted in various parts of Kashmir.

As per ANI, “For the rapid induction of CRPF and other paramilitary troops into the Kashmir valley, the government has pressed Indian Air Force aircraft including the C-17 heavy lift plane into service.”

The development has elicited varying reactions from the political parties, with Omar Abdullah tweeting, “What on-going situation in Kashmir would require the army AND the Air Force to be put on alert? This isn’t about 35A or delimitation. This [is] sort of alert, if actually issued, would be about something very different.”

The right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always favoured trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, which, Indian political analysts believe, would be on communal lines with Hindu (Jammu), Muslim (Kashmir) and Buddhist (Ladakh).

The reason given for trifurcation has been that it will help to contain violence in the valley.

But AG Noorani, writing in Frontline in 2001, said, “Presumably, the Muslim-majority areas can then [after trifurcation] become one huge concentration camp with licence to the security forces to kill.”

“Deployment of troops in such large numbers is certainly not a joke. August 15th (celebrations of India’s independence day) are not happening for the first time (in Kashmir). There are two possibilities, either they will abrogate Article 35A, or they will announce trifurcation of the state,” said an observer.

But Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Thursday that there is no plan to abrogate Article 35A and people should not pay much heed to the rumours.

His comment is further leading to speculations about trifurcation. Commentators say that for trifurcation, a presidential order would be passed. Basically, as per the powers granted by clause (1) of Article 370 of the Constitution, the President, with the concurrence of state government can pass a series of orders.

Last year in October, Governor Malik had said that trifurcation would be a disaster for Jammu and Kashmir.

“The day this state will trifurcate, it will be a disaster. The state of J&K is a reality and it should remain so,” he was quoted by Economic Times as saying.

Some politicians and analysts are against trifurcation for another reason. They believe that it would help Pakistan gain more leverage in the Muslim-majority part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“If the rumours of trifurcation prove correct, then India might as well hand Kashmir on a platter to the Paks [Pakistan]...this step will prove to be an unmitigated disaster. I repeat an unmitigated disaster and I really really hope @narendramodi and @AmitShah don’t take such a step,” tweeted Sushant Sareen, an Indian expert of Pakistan Affairs.

Some analysts however did not believe Modi government was going for the trifurcation of Kashmir.

“I don’t know what the hell is happening in Kashmir but I don’t believe one bit of these crazy trifurcation rumours. No government of India would EVER do that,” journalist Barkha Dutt said in a tweet.