Leaders of regional parties in Kashmir have once again played politics over the killings of young BJP leader Wasim Bari, his father and brother. The trio was shot dead by the militants in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district last week and the gruesome murders shook the Valley
Leaders of mainstream parties in Kashmir issued statements to condemn the killings but didn’t bother to visit the family members of the slain leader. National Conference leader and Member Parliament from north Kashmir, Mohammad Akbar Lone, did not even issue a statement, leave aside visiting Bandipora, which falls in his constituency.
By not visiting Bari’s residence to express sympathies with the bereaved family, the regional parties have aimed to distance themselves from the BJP, which during its rule has taken historical decisions vis-à-vis Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP local as well as the national leaders have stood by Bari’s family and have assured his wife and sister their full support. Minister of state in Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh and BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav reached Bandipora despite security concerns and reaffirmed their pledge to stand by the family members of the slain leader.
The central leadership has sent a clear message to leaders of regional parties that BJP doesn’t just believe in lip service, but regional parties have once again proved that their way of politics has not changed yet.
Militants targeting political workers has been a part of Kashmir’s history since 1990, when Pakistan-sponsored armed insurgency broke out in the Valley. Till date hundreds of workers of mainstream parties have been killed. History stands testimony to the fact that whenever, any political worker of National Conference, PDP, Congress or any other party was killed in Kashmir, national leaders made it a point to express solidarity with the bereaved families and on many occasions they went out of way to ensure that the next of kin of these slain workers get due compensation and other benefits which they deserved.
Despite being cut to size post August 5, 2019, Kashmir-based leaders don’t seem to be in any mood to mend their ways. They appear to be under the impression that they can still preach the politics of division and emerge victorious. Someone needs to tell them that Kashmir has changed drastically and the young faces which have come forward during the past few months and years have rejected their brand of politics, which revolved around deceit and double speak.
J&K’s reorganization has driven home a point that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Union of India and no power on earth can snatch it. If the leaders of the regional parties don’t accept the ground realties and muster courage to speak the truth, they will very soon find themselves at the crossroads as the young leaders have made up their minds to end their hegemony.
Killings of Wasim Bari and his family members have made the resolve of the nationalist leaders in Kashmir stronger. They want to ensure that violence and militancy ends in the Valley so that people can live a peaceful life and the nefarious designs of the sponsors of terror are thwarted. Foundation of naya Jammu and Kashmir has already been laid and the ones who are terrorizing the people cannot succeed.
People of Kashmir have also realized that the elements who are patronizing militants and talk about Pakistan are not their friends. They are the biggest impediments in the way of establishing peace. Sacrifices rendered by Wasim Bari and his family members won’t go in a vain. They will always be remembered as the warriors who laid down their lives for a cause of peaceful Kashmir.