Weaponising ED, tax authorities to expand counterinsurgency security umbrella in Kashmir is a fraught move

News: A new approach is being deployed against insurgency in Kashmir. Apart from security agencies, other organisations such as Enforcement Directorate (ED) are now being roped in to deal with the funding and financing of terror activities.

This new policy runs the risk of further alienation of the local population

What has been the recent shift in government’s approach towards Counter-insurgency operations? 

Counter-insurgency operations are usually understood to target the weapon wielded organisations and their leaders, usually termed as militants.  

Recently, Counter insurgency operations with a different approach have been in use to counter the militants. 

Government agencies have now started to focus more towards “over-ground workers” rather than the militant ones.  

The term over-ground worker may be used to refer anyone from any age group or any profession who are supporting the militants and providing them with the required resources to conduct their operations.  

What are the advantages of this approach? 

As this approach focusses more on breaking the financial, logistical or ideological networks of the militants. This will stop alienation of more young people and prevent them from taking up arms against the state. 

As an intelligent crackdown on those who give these organisations money and shelter will save lives and will bring more stability and peace in the region, so this also has high probability of garnering community support. 

What are the concerns regarding this approach? 

There have been several arrests under laws such as the Unlawful Activities and Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Public Security Act over the last three years. 

If there is not a set criterion or limit on who can be identified as an over-ground worker, this may lead to profiling or labelling of some innocent people with no such intention or track record. Government should ensure to that this does not happen. 

This may result into alienation of the population and a simmering militancy. 

What is the way forward? 

Government should focus on bringing back “normalcy” and to enhance community outreach as much as possible.  

Source: This post is based on the article “Weaponising ED, tax authorities to expand counterinsurgency security umbrella in Kashmir is a fraught move” published in The Indian Express on 11th Jan 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF