Police and security forces in a joint operation made a major breakthrough when they nabbed one and neutralised 13 militants in three separate encounters in south Kashmir on Sunday. So far, this is the biggest achievement of "Operation All Out" by the Indian forces and JKP in the recent years. All the 13 militants killed in the gun battle were locals, essentially from south Kashmir. The number of killings was so big that even after losing three of their men Indian Army petted their back and called it a major setback for the militants in the valley.

Militants have a huge support from the local population of the Kashmir which can be seen in the form of large gatherings at their funerals and rounds of funeral prayers offered to them. They also gather around encounter sites and distract security forces by pelting stones to allow safe passage to militants. The same happened during the Sunday encounters which resulted in the deaths of four civilians. Hundreds received pellet and smock shell injuries.

Almost 40 of the pellet victims got serious eye injuries and are now battling to retain their vision. People are so angry with the army that they are putting their lives at stake. These operations come like a mental torture to them. A lot of them also take to social media to vent out their anger by writing posts and poetry.

Out of the four civilians killed on Sunday, one was being used as a human shield which costed him his life as the militants opened fire and he received several bullet shots in his neck resulting in his death. The use of humans as shields is not new to Kashmir. We have seen Farooq Dar being used as one during elections in Budgam, last year. But luckily, he survived.

The way army is dealing with law and order situation in the valley is totally different from the rest of India where water cannons are used to deal with the protesters. It clearly differentiates Kashmir from other parts of the country. Locals and Families of the newly active militants accuse army of unnecessary harassment and hold them responsible for the increasing number in the militant outfits. In the name of curbing militancy in Kashmir, security forces have shattered peace in the valley.

On normal days, army’s presence intimidates people. When they are frisked and asked to unlock the personal folders of their phone gallery, this breach of privacy makes them feel vulnerable and angry.

“I was asked to open my phone’s gallery. I accosted the SOG personnel but he didn’t listen to me, instead he slapped me on my face and said, ‘ISS MAI MILLITANTS KI PHOTO RAKHI HAI (there are pictures of militants in your phone)," told one of my friends, sharing his experience of travelling in south Kashmir. The way they are frisking people over and again and using sniffer dogs at times, reminds people of the '90s when every nook and corner of the valley was sealed by the army posts and every entry and exit was followed by frisking to avoid any untoward act.

For every Kashmiri, curfews, strikes, encounters, ID Checking, gun shots and crackdowns are normal things and have been a part of their lives that they fear can end without a warning. Usually people accept this unpredictability of life. On this bloody Sunday army in cooperation with SOG men stopped taxis coming from Jammu to Srinagar at Qazigund area of south Kashmir for checking. The masked SOG men with black scarf’s on face and bullet proof jackets and long army green boots with black toes gave a sense of fear to the passengers that they have entered the land of horror and violence, which is not the case in normal days.

To the natives returning, it feels like they are back to the world’s beautiful prison. And the same happened to my brother who reached Qazigund on Sunday. He was coming back home after a long time and on this bloody Sunday, he was welcomed by the SOG men near Qazigund when they stopped his taxi for checking and asked the passengers to come out of the car and were looking at them with suspicion as if they were some kind of militants. After checking his Id proofs, the cop asked him some irrelevant questions that resulted in an argument between the two. Irritated, my brother said, “Why do you have to welcome people returning home after long, like this?” The policeman ignored the question and went on asking him about the girl sitting next to her: “Who is she? Don’t you know her? How is it possible that she is travelling alone?” Angry by the time, my brother replied in a high pitch, “She is a manager. Do you know what a manager means?” The policeman got angry and asked the driver to produce my brother’s bag. But he didn’t find anything in it other than his clothes.

To justify the act of his fellow, one of the cops told him in a low tone that it is a normal checking and it is mostly because of the encounters going on in three different places in south Kashmir. The whole episode ruined my brother’s joy of coming back home. "Coming back home feels like coming back to a beautiful prison," he said as he shared the experience with me. "The girl was embarrassed too."

People took to streets and a complete shutdown was observed as a protest against the killings and also to mourn for the dead. Political parties fought war of words among themselves to maintain their vote bank.  Government announced holiday for all the educational establishments to avoid protests by the students and shut down internet to avoid dissemination of this news at larger front. Separatist groups announced fresh calendar and showed solidarity with the victim families and Kashmiris. But nobody understands what Kashmiris want. And no one in India is ready to accept Nehru’s commitment towards the people of Kashmir.