Even though Uttarakhand is a tiny state it ranks number 3 across India in sending officers to the Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) and in the top 10 states to send men and women to serve in the Indian security forces.
Nearly every family in the little Himalayan state has a serving member. When there is a war on India’s borders or conflict within India, it bears a heavy burden.
In the Pulwama suicide bombing, the deadliest suicide bombing in Indian history where 42 CRPF members sacrificed their lives, were two sons of Uttarakhand, Sri Mohan Lal Raturi and Sri Virendra Singh Rana.
Sri Raturi’S family had been asking him to take VRS (he was 55), & spend his days at home. His said he was still fit and wanted to serve the country till he could. Sri Rana left behind an 80-year-old father, 6-year-old daughter Rohi, and 2 and a half-year-old son Bayan Singh. It was little Bayan who gave the mukhagni to his father’s funeral pyre.
News of the Pulwama attack broke through the country on the 14th of February. The perpetrator, 22-year-old Adil Ahmed Dar, had been a stone pelter, among the nearly 9400 such offenders between 2008 & 2018, who were forgiven for their first time by the BJP-PDP, and given a second chance at life.
Jaish e Mohammed took responsibility for the blast almost at once.
Back in Pulwama, dazed CRPF men rushed to rescue their fallen comrades even as a crowd gathered, stone pelting the wounded and the dying to stop them from being taken to the hospital. As news of the suicide bombing started to leak, across the country, Kashmiri students in Jammu, Haryana, Delhi, Bangalore, Jaipur, and Dehradun, started writing Valentine’s Day messages and posting photos celebrating the bombing, on Facebook and Instagram.
Stunned and horrified students across India started sharing that Kashmiri students in their hostel had been distributing sweets and flowers. Not even 10 hours had passed to the suicide bombing.
Dehradun has been seeing coffins being brought in nearly every month from the border, as tensions simmer. On the 14th, the city received the news of the sacrifice of two sons. And by nightfall, Army Major Chitresh Bisht, to be engaged in the next few months, had been blown up by an IED planted inside the border that he and his team were trying to defuse.
Around the same time, folk saw the Instagram post of one Kaysir Rashid, a first-year student of Subharti Medical College, Dehradun – ‘Happy today aaj to chicken dinner ho ghya’. Syed Mohd. Qasim of DBIT had a similar post. Sensing the rising anger of students in the locality, landlords started asking Kashmiri students to move out. One of them, related to a high ranking IAS officer, reached the city administration through the IAS network. The Dehradun SSP swung into action, escorting them into alternate arrangements through the night. That is the paternal Indian state for you.
The next morning, Dehradunites started organising candle marches in support of the martyrs throughout the city. Sometime during the day, one such march passed the Alpine Institute hostel in Premnagar, a locality with many such colleges. The Alpine Institute has about 24 female students from Kashmir. Most of them were on the terrace. As the crowd passed their institute gates, these Kashmiri girls started pelting stones at them and chanting Pakistan Zindabad.
Now I want you to take a minute and process this.
42 Indians from across the country, regardless of religion, caste, language, have lost their lives in the deadliest suicide bombing in Indian history. Less than 24 hours later, their bodies are yet to touch down in their respective villages and city homes. And in that time, when grieving families who have lost a son, a father, a brother, a husband, a fiance, haven’t processed their grief, Kashmiri students studying in that city are celebrating the bombing, and Kashmiri women are pelting stones on a candle march and chanting Pakistan Zindabad, with impunity and ZERO consequences. Not in Kashmir. In Dehradun! Forget regard for the country to which they belong, which has sent them on subsidised scholarships all over India. They showed zero regards for the loss, the grief, the sentiments of their host city. And Uttarakhandis become monsters victimising poor little defenceless girls?
The agitated marchers gheraoed the institute. Within minutes, the Police reached the spot, cordoned the area, and started pacifying the crowd. Finally, the Kashmiri women were produced, who had to say Hindustan Zindabad. At that, the crowd left to protest at Suddhowala Chowk.
As this was being settled, amicably and peacefully, terrorist supporters across the country sprang into action.
Led by Mohammad Raafi a journalist, Shehla Rashid an old JNU leader, and Fahad Shah, a Kashmiri journalist implicated in the Me Too movement, they sent out public SOS on Twitter, the platform preferred by global politicians and mediapersons.
Their posts implied that 25 Kashmiri girls were being attacked by lynch mobs of angry Hindu males, and were scared for their lives. This atrociously fake, unverified news was taken up by Kashmiri politicians worried about articles 35A & 370 being revoked in the aftermath of the bombing.
Soon it spread like wildfire through the trusted route of Indian Leftie academics and media folk, to their British and European counterparts.
Less than 48 hours had passed to Pulwama.
The shaming of Uttarakhand had begun.
Despite the immediate rejection of these rumours by the Uttarakhand police and the civil administration, these entities persisted in their vile accusations. Unverified photos of *Dogs and Kashmiris Not Allowed* were circulated by Bengali Lefties, claiming to be genuine. A Dehradun resident Alok Bhatt protested against this and appealed to Uttarakhand Cops to verify it. On the indication of the culprits, Twitter actually blocked him for the entire night!!
So besides the obvious political reason of an inconvenient landslide election of a BJP Government, why was Uttarakhand being targeted?
On Friday – Saturday, Intelligence agencies heard of more obscene anti-Army posts on Pulwama by one Dilawar Lone, also studying in Premnagar. When the police started investigating him, they realised that he hadn’t been coming to classes since December!! When they got in touch with their J& K counterparts, they found he had been caught stone pelting in Sopore, his home town. He had skipped to Dehradun, then slipped back in.
This was doubly alarming because this was the MO of Shoaib Ahmed Lone, a Hizbul terrorist that had been killed about the time Dilawar was in J&K, and who had returned to Dehradun to attend his college in Premnagar, just like Dilawar. Security Agencies then confirmed to local papers that they suspected a sleeper cell of Hizbul recruiters in Dehradun educational institutes.
In December 2010, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Ghulam Nabi was caught less than 24 hours before the Indian Military Academy (IMA) ‘s Passing Out Parade in Dehradun. He and his team had been living in Dehradun for about a week, doing recces. You can imagine the carnage, and a setback to the command order, had they succeeded.
After enough evidence was presented, and enraged citizens succeeded in filing an FIR on the more shameless of the terror apologists, their focus immediately shifted to what they called *The Exodus* of Kashmiris from Uttarakhand.
I don’t think by now, anyone in the deeply grieving state is particularly sad to see their back. Their entitled, shameful behaviour has sickened decent folk who couldn’t even sit down to grieve with the families before finding themselves globally vilified by a soulless cabal delighting in Indian deaths. Uttarakhand is known for Tourism and Education, and it may be that these sectors are temporarily hit. But a state of nationalists can take that little hit.
Today morning, news came that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea filed by an advocate against the alleged attacks on Kashmiri students all over the country after Pulwama.
Dehradun lost four martyrs in 48 hours. Major Vibhu Dhoundiyal’s lovely Kashmiri Pandit wife Nikita’s softly mouthed ‘I Love You’ & her gold dejhours lay heavy on the conscience of a nation. The city is reeling under the weight of body bags. And these anti-national ingrates, not a hair on whose heads have been touched, are the victims here?!
If you’re among the folk delighting in this wilful slander, take your uninformed politics elsewhere. Back off and let us quietly grieve in peace. Please.
Thesignoffive is a Pahadi from the Plains in the Peninsula, and tweets about art, tech, STEM, music, archaeology, and culture.