21, Feb 2019 | Julio Ribeiro
The spirit of Nationalism has been demonstrably proved all over the country when thousands of ordinary citizens spontaneously met in groups, at street corners and in halls, to show their sympathy with the 41 C.R.P.F. Jawans who were killed in one instant explosion triggered by a fidayeen. They also demonstrated their anger against those who used violence in such an unethical and cruel manner.
As a former head of the C.R.P.F. I join my fellow citizens of this great country, to not only sympathise with the near and dear ones of the victims, but also to ask citizens to stop and contemplate what can be done to avoid such massacres.
For one, please remember that the boy who gave up his own life to kill others, was an Indian citizen since he belonged to our side of the Kashmir Valley and not to POK. What motivated him to sacrifice his own life? This is a question the authorities must ask in order to find a solution to the problem.
My article in the Indian Express on 19th February may kindly be perused. We have to approach the problem in an even-handed and thoughtful manner and learn from all the previous experiences of combating terrorism.
For two hundred years, the Irish I.R.A. tried to use terrorist tactics against the British Crown and failed to achieve its objective. In Punjab, closer home, we succeeded in putting an end to terrorism only after the Sikh Jat farmers started handing over the terrorists in their midst to the police.
We can learn lessons from their experiences. It is important to win the hearts and minds of the community to which the terrorists belong.
*The writer, a retired IPS officer, was Mumbai Police Commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab, and is a former Indian ambassador to Romania. Ribeiro led the Punjab Police during some of the state’s worst years of terrorism.