#DHRecaps | Same security questions persist

#DHRecaps | Same security questions persist

One of the prominent theatres of action will be Kashmir, where political manoeuvring saw the state being put under the Governor's rule and later under the President's. (File Photo by Umer Asif)

As a new year sets in, the outgoing year is throwing the same questions one asked over the past few years.

Will Kashmir see elections next year, how will one tackle social media-propelled fake news and increasing cases of lynching and how prepared is the security establishment ahead of Lok Sabha elections when a section fear that there could be efforts for polarise communities?

These being asked even as Home Minister Rajnath Singh says that the country's internal security situation has improved, citing statistics that will prove his argument.

With the Supreme Court set to decide on the hearing in the Ayodhya case, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the security establishment will have more work as a decision either way or a delay in the start of the hearing could lead to more trouble.

One would also like to see what progress the government has made in the Naga talks with NSCN(IM).

However, one of the prominent theatres of action will be Kashmir, where political manoeuvring saw the state being put under the Governor's rule and later under the President's.

The Assembly was dissolved after the PDP sought to stump the BJP by joining hands with the arch-rival National Conference and the Congress to stake claim for forming the government.

Opposition believes that a "muscular" strategy is not helping solve the problem and cites the increase in violent incidents from 322 in 2016 and 342 in 2017 to 587 this year till December 2.

The Opposition wants dialogue with all stakeholders even as 2018 also saw the diminishing role of Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma following the imposition of Governor's Rule and subsequently President's Rule.

The big challenge before the government is to conduct Assembly elections next year and any delay is feared to cause further alienation among Kashmiris.

Another area of concern is the Maoist theatre.

Though the number of violent incidents remained below 1,000 for the second year, the security forces were on their toes in Chhattisgarh, where Assembly elections were held.

For the government, the change in CPI (Maoist) leadership will add one more challenge as the new general secretary, Basavaraj, who replaced ailing Ganapathy was the chairman of central military commission and the brain behind several attacks on security forces.

The year also saw the security establishment cracking down on activists, whom the authorities called "Maoist sympathisers".

These arrests were used by the ruling BJP and right-wing outfits to describe their detractors 'urban naxals'.

The MHA also had to swing in to action following a Supreme Court order asking it to rein in lynchings in the name of cow protectionism and child lifting.

The issue was linked to the spread of fake news and rumours on websites and social media, prompting the government to involve internet giants like Google, Facebook and Youtube among others to curb the menace.

The Centre will have to ensure that the states take proper action to ensure that there is no flare-up in the name of cow vigilantism by enhancing the capabilities of  local intelligence.

The authorities will have to prevent attacks like the one that took place in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr, where a police official was killed by Hindutva protesters in the name of cow vigilantism.

With the Lok Sabha elections months away, the MHA will also have to keep a tab on law and order across the country and take steps to tackle rumour mongering that could affect peace and tranquillity in the nation.