Army spent 45 crores in Kashmir last year but the hate remains

An Indian policeman looks from distance as they clash with Kashmiri Muslim protesters during a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Two young men were killed in firing by Indian government forces at rock-throwing protesters in the town of Handwara around 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of here on Tuesday, police said. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

Srinagar, May 06: At first instance, let us throw light on the highlights of Sadbhavna in Kashmir. The Indian Army spent a total of Rs 45 Crore in Kashmir during the April ’15-March’16 period.

  • Education and Information Technology: Rs 17 crore
  • Health: Rs 4.5 crore
  • Human resource development: Rs 7 crore
  • Infrastructure development: Rs 9 crore
  • National integration tour: Rs 3.5 crore
  • Sport: Rs 3 crore
  • Others: Rs 1 crore
  • This year Army plans to spend Rs 40 crore

Sadbhavana is a goodwill programme which was launched in militancy-torn Jammu and Kashmir. The idea behind was to bridge the gap between the Army and the people, especially in the militancy prone areas because the relationshop between the two parties is not exactly cordial.

The army does claim having covered a lot of ground in J&K in warming up to the people but the recent protests in the frontier district of Kupwara indicate otherwise. This, notwithstanding the fact that the Army has invested heavily in Kupwara.

The protests at Handwara, based on allegations of molestation of a teenager girl, as well speak of the same ill-will. The army had to forcibly remove the bunkers from the area after five civilians died in clashes that ensued.

The attendance at militant funerals has only swollen in the last year and the incidents of terrorists openly attending and firing salutary bullets in these funerals have increased.

During the same period of Sadbhavna assessment, a new concept of stone-pelting has also begun which is done only to thwart the army’s anti-militancy operations

Sadbhavna dwelt on education and medical facilities in the initial phase, focusing on far-flung areas where schools were far and few.

Later, training women to make them self sufficient was also added and these did generate goodwill among the two parties to an extent.

Only, a deeper study will determine Sadbhavna’s success because the recent protests speak of a different relationship.

With inputs from The Tribune

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