On the early morning of February 10, 2018, I woke up to the news that a bunch of terrorists had laid siege to the Sunjwan Army Camp. Being in Jammu, I stepped out of my house’s gate – only to see people talking fretfully about the attack and expressing sympathy for those jawans and their families who were stuck inside the family quarters where the terrorists had been cornered.
I felt gloomy for a moment, but then I thought, “Whose fault is it? Who should be held guilty?” After a series of deep thoughts, I realised that the blame for this devastation doesn’t lie solely on the terrorist outfits. Our leaders, our defence forces and our administrators who, in my opinion, have failed us at every step, are equally at fault here.
The Army is the front line of the nation’s defence. We, the people of India, sleep without trepidation because we count on our defence forces to guard us at all times. But the fact that a group of three heavily armed terrorists, at the first light of the morning, barged into an army camp near a national highway and killed seven people (including army personnel) in broad daylight makes me sick.
In today’s India, when we are spending an enormous part of our Budget on defence, this security glitch isn’t tolerable at all. The internal systems must be beefed up, the operation procedures must be revised and a proper process of scrutiny must be in place to make sure that there’s no room for any type of negligence. I know I’m being harsh and extra critical of the Army, but this is what I honestly feel.
Additionally, I think that it is high time we stop lauding the Army too much and start questioning them as to how they could have let this happen. If three people can create a state of chaos at the heart of an army base, I can’t even imagine the kind of devastation they’ll do if they barge into a public monument or a religious institution. Had the security on the periphery of the camp been in place (exactly as it should have been), the infiltration attempt could have been dealt with ease.
This is a critical matter at hand – and it should be dealt with by an intellectual procedure, keeping aside the emotions we often have for our forces.
Our government is equally responsible for the seven lives claimed in the attack. In my opinion, India’s policy towards Pakistan has always been an illusion. On one hand, the government promises us that it’ll have a hardline policy towards Pakistan. On the other hand, it does nothing when attacks like this are planned and executed successfully. The politicians vaunt fecklessly about their parties in rallies, whereas the change on the ground, unfortunately, remains almost zero.
Most people in the subcontinent know that Pakistan has become a training hub for innumerable terrorist outfits, but, apart from a bunch of operations, our government has only attacked them with words in most of the cases. The terrorists keep on attacking and the politicians keep on yelling – this cycle repeats itself every now and then. This needs to be stopped.
The government has to be questioned on every possible occasion and pressurised until they are forced to take a viable action which is the need of the hour.
It’s been alleged that the terrorists came all the way from Kashmir to Jammu with their arsenal of ammo and other equipment. Apparently, they stayed near the camp for some time. Then, on the morning of February 10, they attacked the Sunjwan Army Camp.
Now, a 300 kilometre-long national highway connects Kashmir to Jammu. The highway has many police check-posts and a few army check-posts. Now, the question is: how did the militants elude the surveillance of all the check-posts without being apprehended? Additionally, a report states that there was local help involved. According to the report, someone among the locals may have helped the assailants stay for a while and attack the camp at the right time. Personally, I believe that until the police force is thoroughly scrutinized and the locals are enlightened, the solutions will be very difficult to find.
The lazy attitude of our system, the loopholes in our policies, the slothful attitude of government employees, mistakes from the defence personnel and many such factors make our country critically vulnerable to terrorist attacks. These kill us in numerous ways. Tourism is affected, several innocent lives are claimed, businesses are sometimes destroyed in seconds – and many-a-time, the hate among the communal elements of the society get catalysed when attacks like these happen.
I strongly believe that if the security agencies, defence forces and our system are bound by a tight schedule and are supervised properly, our nation possesses enough flair to be the strongest power in the world. But looking at the current scene, I’m not at all confident that things are going to improve.