Soon after Narendra Modi took over the reins of the country as Prime Minister, a sea of changes were witnessed in Kashmir. Most importantly, his government used the Iron-Fist policy to crush separatist elements in the Valley. The Modi government with the help of central agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opened their (separatist leaders) old terror files.
In June 2017, when NIA carried its first raids in the Valley, it not only charged some separatist leaders for fomenting street violence (in the Valley) but ensured their arrests, others who were not put behind bars were put under house arrest. In a way, Pro-Pakistan gangs were destroyed.
Today, the result is visible, now, there are no more organized street protests, no hartal calls given by Separatist leaders, no organized stone-pelting, and fiery Friday sermons from the mosques have vanished completely. The separatists–who used to issue protest calendars are no more visible on the ground. Their absence is seen as a sign of relief by commoners who would not only lose their business but lose their Kits and Kins with the calendar politics in the Valley.
On May 21st, when Mirwaiz Maulvi Mohammad Farooq Shah, was shot dead by gunmen inside his home in 1990 and on the same date in 2002, Abdul Gani Lone (separatist leader) was killed during a commemoration function of late Mirwaiz at Eidgah (downtown area of Srinagar), Separatist leadership would call for a complete shutdown in the valley and commoners would adhere. Earlier, on May 21st, separatist leaders would also hold a rally at Eidgah to pay homage to these two slain leaders, but today, the same Eidgah turns playground for some local boys who were seen playing cricket game while following COVID-19 guidelines.
On a call of Hurriyat Hawk, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, common people would gather in tens of thousands at Eidgah, but today the very same people do not know even his whereabouts, forget about the shutdown calls. Similarly, JKLF leader, Yasin Malik is languishing in Tahir Jail when Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has completely turned silent. The message from PM Modi is clear and the separatist camp has understood.
However, the major concern for the security apparatus working in Kashmir is local boys joining terror ranks. In many anti-terror ops, it was seen police along with security forces getting surrender local boys but the majority would prefer getting killed than surrender. To crush terror on the ground, it has been observed that the security apparatus has adopted a couple of policies that include, cutting the support of terrorists by arresting OGW’s network and those arrested (hardcore ones) are slapped with Public Safety Act, the police are hitting hard on the terror modules which otherwise acts as oxygen to terror outfits.