NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi may intensify a crackdown on youth in Kashmir, which risks more violence, said US-based satellite CNBC TV channel.
The TV in its report says, “His (Modi’s) recent actions, including ending an alliance with a regional political party (PDP), could trigger more aggressive policies in the troubled (Kashmir) area that could incite backlash from locals.”
“As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prioritizes national security as part of his reelection campaign, he’s made controversial moves in the disputed Himalayan valley of Kashmir. That’s raised fears of fresh instability in a powder keg region already prone to frequent eruptions of violence,” the TV said.
“Now that Modi is beginning to campaign for another five-year term as prime minister – part of his campaign strategy is to embrace a tough approach to the insurgencies within India and burnish his credentials as a candidate firm on security,” analysts at political consultancy Stratfor said in a note.
“That’s especially applicable in Muslim-majority Kashmir. But intensifying the military’s crackdown in such a troubled area is inherently risky,” the TV said.
“It heightens the possibility of more draconian security policies carried out on the pretext of counter-terrorism,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.
About breakup of BJP-PDP alliance, the report said, Modi’s most recent maneuver is already expected to bring more trouble. “Last month, his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) exited a three-year-old alliance with the People’s Democratic Party.”
The BJP’s move – “an act of panic, occasioned by the coming general elections,” according to Manoj Joshi, a fellow at Delhi-based think-tank, Observer Research Foundation.
The governing coalition was believed to balance out the BJP’s aggressive tactics in the conflict-ridden zone. “…the ruling party typically resorts to what many call muscular policies that the United Nations has singled out as human rights violations,” the CNBC added.
“Those include excessive force against protesters, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, sexual violence, detention of families and children as well as enforced disappearances,” the TV said citing the UN.
“Now, with the BJP unconstrained by the moderating tendencies of the PDP, it could become emboldened and resort to more of the heavy-handed tactics that have aggrieved Kashmiris” said Kugelman. “There’s reason to fear that the end of the alliance could lead to an upsurge in violence.”
“Because Modi is positioning himself as a candidate dedicated to fixing the nation’s security troubles ahead of 2019 elections, this means he will revert to a tougher approach against the insurgency in Jammu Kashmir, hence his party’s break with the PDP,” the Stratfor note explained.