Official Peace

Yet, Kashmir continues to simmer

Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab

Srinagar: From phone to the file to the phone again. Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir range, Munir Ahmad Khan has no time to even breathe. Without looking up from the papers he was going through, he says, “This will continue, you can ask your questions.”

 Munir Ahmad Khan
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir range, Munir Ahmad Khan

Then the phone rang again.

“What? Where? How many? Which group? Has the operation begun? I will be there shortly. No, I will call her myself,” putting down one phone he picks up another and makes a call.

“An encounter has begun in Tral... Looks like two boys. No, the tanzeem is not known right now... Tell your boys… Put down the mobile towers… Yes, all, except the BSNL. Yes, immediately. I have some people with me, I will leave once I am through. No, I will call her now.”

He picks up the third phone. “Get me the chief minister,” he barks.

Finally, he looks up.

“A contact has been made in Tral,” he explains. The intercom buzzes. “Yes, connect me,” he says, rising up from his chair. Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti is on the line. In a softer tone he greets her and walks into the ante room. His muffled voice can be heard through the door. A few minutes later he returns to his desk.

Sitting back on his chair he says, “The CM is at a function at EDI (Entrepreneurship Development Institute), which is close to the location of the encounter.” Then he makes another call.

“I have requested the CM to return to Srinagar immediately, but she says that she is at a function… yes, she will leave as soon as she can. Are the mobile towers down yet?”

He puts down the phone and looks up again.

Shall we leave or stay?

“No, no, I have some time,” he says, looking what seemed to be an imaginary clock across the wall. “In any case, I wanted to speak with you people.”

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