Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – SRINAGAR – ISLAMABAD WATCH – South Asia Theatre: Spiritual Battlelines Drawn in Jammu – Kashmir – Hindus Protest in Jammu as Muslims Continue Protests in Srinagar and Across State – Abkhazia Closes Border with Georgia After Explosions – Moscow Expresses Concern
Night Watch: JAMMU – It is amazing what has inflamed the Hindu/Muslim dispute in Jammu-Kashmir the issue which has caused two of the three Pakistan/India wars since their independence in 1947. I would have guessed it would be an increase in infiltration by Islamic units supported by Tehran-Islamabad but instead it was the granting of 40 acres of forest land in Kashmir by the state government to the Hindu Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) which set off massive Muslim demonstrations and riots across the entire state as they viewed the land grant as Delhi’s attempt to have more Hindus move to the region.
Now Hindus are attacking the residences of the state government which revoked the land grant decision. WebIndia123 reports the Hindu demonstrations are being called for and led by the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) which is most representatives of Hindu nationalists and they have constantly refused any consideration of Kashmir’s independence and their nationwide influence has had an enormous impact on India’s government on that issue. Even before the BJP was formed Hindu nationalists viewed any negotiation with Pakistan over Kashmir as a sign of weakness. They are also extremely proud of India having won three wars with Pakistan with relative ease and that has caused their policies to be firmly entrenched. [WEBINDIA123]
The home of the Health Minister and senior Congress party leader Mangat Ram Sharma in Jammu was pelted with stones since he is a member of the State Government which has revoked the land grant decision. And more than a hundred BJP and Sangh party activists were arrested during a day long bandh (shutdown) in the city.
Fifteen protestors were injured during a baton charge by police as the demonstrators support calls for the state governor to be dismissed. Jammu is the only city in the state with a Hindu majority population. It is a hundred miles south of Srinagar, where most of the Muslim demonstrations are concentrated and just ten miles from Pakistan’s border. Other Hindu demonstrations broke out on the city’s outskirts as the Srinagar-Jammu-Rathankot national highway was blocked in several places by barricades.
Jammu – “Newly appointed Governor N. N. Vohra is Sonia Gandhi’s agent who wants to divide Jammu-Kashmir on religious lines. His decision of disbanding Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and asking the government to take over all responsibilities at organizing Amarnath pilgrimages is highly condemnable.” That was the statement issued by BJP party chief Ashok Khajuria who has not only called for the demonstrations but is also demanding an economic boycott of the entire state.
KONS reports BJP leaders are demanding the governor be dismissed and are warning of causing nationwide disturbances and that can easily lead to communal rioting across India between Hindus/Muslims which has characterized much of India’s history since 1947. [KONS]
Bemina – In the meantime, despite the land grant decision being revoked, it has had no impact on Muslim demonstrators who have enlarged the land grant dispute over forty acres to now using the demonstrations and riots to call for Kashmir’s independence from India. The Greater Kashmir Daily (GKD) is reporting the Muslim leader of the pro-independent Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah, was assaulted during a confrontation with Indian police at Bemina where he attended the funeral of a youth who had been killed.
An unofficial curfew has been imposed in Bemina where reports mentioned units of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) attacked passerbys including children. The CRPF actually went on a rampage in other cities across the province as they have been in the forefront of the pitched battles for the past week. The CRPF is one of the main security services used by Delhi in the state but they are mostly involved in engaging armed Islamic militants not mass demonstrations. The linked article listed so many areas of fighting one has to come to the conclusion the fourth war between India/Pakistan may actually be underway right now. [GKD]
Ominously there has been no public statements from Tehran-Islamabad but media sources in both countries are monitoring the situation closely as are both governments. Iran-Pakistan realize this is another weapon and one of the demonstrators mentioned they could eventually be armed.
Sukhumi – “From tomorrow, the Georgia/Abkahzia border will close. We know where it comes from-from Georgia. Having tried everything they have resorted to the most disgraceful thing-terrorist attacks.” That is the statement from Abkhazia President Sergei Bagapsh after a series of explosions on June 29 and 30 in the Abkhazia capital Sukhumi and the Black Sea resort Gagra. RIA reports the Russian Foreign Ministry is also expressing concerns over the explosions which have injured six people. Moscow and the Abkhazia government in Sukhumi are both accusing the Georgian government in Tblisi of continuing a campaign of intimidation against Abkhazia’s seceding from Georgia at the end of the Cold War in 1990.
Moscow supports the secession as a way of restoring its control over the oil – gas resources in the South Caucasus and Tbilisi has eagerly accepted military assistance from Ankara-Tehran which is why industrial groups in the West, led by Berlin, privately support Moscow. That is the reason former U. S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger was sent to Russia in April last year (cfw=4-26-07) to co-chair the Strategic Working Group with former Russia Premier Yevgeny Primakov and that is why I suspect it is Moscow behind these explosions. [RIA]
Norfolk – A reader informed me the aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman is no longer in the Eastern Mediterranean off the Syria-Lebanon coast but that its battle group returned to Norfolk nearly a month ago. He added currently there is only one carrier near Iran the USS Abraham Lincoln as most coalition warships are conducting huge exercises off Guam until July 30.