Millennium Post

Near the borders

It is undoubtedly a challenging task to keep governance and administration going together smoothly in any region; add to that the pressures of one close to the national border. There are plenty of problems that co-exist with administering a region adjacent to one that our powers to be have no control over. The constantly tricky situations that abound in remote regions invalidate any pre-meditated methods to keep the regular and functionings and normalcy going unimpeded. However, what can, in fact, be largely drawn up is a method of prevention and averting of any possible untoward incidents. Each region in India that is close to the national border is marked by its own singular challenges. The regions in the east are distinct in terms of ethnicity which also marks the region apart from the rest of India. Smuggling, black marketing, and illegal exchanges from across the border thrive in those regions. Cattle smuggling and foreign nationals infiltrating Indian territory through riverine route are just some examples. Despite the anomaly, matters still do not spiral out of control because the neighbouring state is not a hostile one and there is minimal risk of matters getting blown out of proportion. On the contrary, the ground situation is very different and even unpredictable along the northern frontier, particularly with respect to the hostile and unreliable neighbours Pakistan and China. The Jammu and Kashmir region is particularly volatile and incidents that break out there make serious news nationally, and sometimes even internationally. In an unforeseen event, and a first of its kind, a Chinese drone fitted with a camera flying over the premises of a high-security district jail in Kishtwar was seized by Jammu and Kashmir Police last week after is crashes against one of the watch towers of the jail and fell down. The jail houses 101 inmates which include 25 militants (except for four Kashmiri militants, remaining are from DODA and Kishtwar districts). With respect to the Kashmir valley region of the state, what makes it particularly distinct is the palpable distrust and aversion of the natives for the Indian state owing to the perpetuated conflict. It is very crucial to understand here that taking the local people in confidence and winning their trust is of immense importance and benefit to the procedural workings of the Indian state in terms of security matters. The porters of Vaishno Devi are exemplary of this synergy: they even double up as informers if the need be. Many of them are Kashmiri Muslims who assist numerous Hindu pilgrims and earn their livelihood from this. Anything that might be a threat to security makes its way from the routes that only locals know best. More than ideologies that lead to violence and bloodshed, a peaceful business is dearer. In Kishtwar too, had the locals been aware and alert, the drone could have been intercepted before reaching the jail.

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