On July 10, a bus carrying pilgrims, returning after visiting the Amarnath shrine in Kashmir, was fired upon by alleged terrorists. Seven passengers, six of them women, were reported killed while 32 were grievously injured.
People in Kashmir have united, across communities, religious beliefs and political affiliations, to condemn this dastardly crime. They have demanded that the perpetrators of this heinous crime be identified, arrested and punished.
According to media reports, the bus was not registered with the authorities. It was not part of the convoy of buses which is provided state security. It was travelling later than the permitted time limit.
The Government of India does not seem to be taking any credible steps to investigate the crime and identify the culprits. No light has been thrown on why an unregistered bus without state security was making such a journey. As usual, the authorities have been quick to blame “Islamic militants” and “separatists” sponsored by Pakistan.
Going by historical experience, this is a crime committed for political motives and not out of religious fanaticism. Hence an important question to probe is: who stands to gain in political terms?
The Indian state has a long and dirty history of using terrorism to divide the united opposition of people and make them fight and kill each another, as well as to justify even further repression on the people. It is well-known that numerous such groups, that organize terrorist massacres of innocent people, are covertly sponsored, trained and financed by the Indian state, the US imperialists and other agencies of global finance capital. It is their agenda, of dividing and terrorizing the people, of endangering the sovereignty of our people and peace and security in our region, which is furthered by such terrorist massacres. That is why the actual forces behind these terror attacks never get revealed or punished.
The attack on the Amarnath pilgrims has taken place at a time when the masses of people in Kashmir are on the streets opposing army rule. There is growing anger against the almost daily killing, maiming, arrests, torture and harassment of innocent people by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces. The Indian state has been justifying the brutal actions of its armed forces by branding all those opposing it as being “militants”, “Islamic terrorists” and “anti-nationals”. In such a situation, the attack on the Amarnath pilgrims serves to discredit the struggle of the Kashmiri people and portray them as dangerous enemies. It serves to spread communal tension among the people and justify the continuation of army rule and state terror in Kashmir.
It is not the Kashmiri people or any of their supporters, but those who are opposed to their struggle who stand to gain from this dastardly attack.