Wintry woes continue in the valley. Last week cops, on the basis of some solid info, laid siege to a mohalla, a country subdivision, in Baramulla, North Kashmir. These days, owing to the extreme weather, the police swings into action only when the intel is fully reliable and the target is clearly achievable. A high ranking officer led the offensive. Crack teams took position at vantage points. At the appointed hour the police assault was launched. Codenamed operation Rooster, it was swift, efficient and successful.
Three men were arrested. All young. “Case FIR # 12, 13 and 14 of 2012 under Section 3/7 has been registered against them,” newspapers screamed. What is all the more interesting is the huge body of evidence collected against the perpetrators. For once the police is uber-confident that they have a water-tight case. Oh and by the way the boys were booked for selling chicken at exaggerated rates. A few things can be more heinous. Period.
One doesn’t really want to get into the nuts and bolts of the poultry pricing mechanism in Kashmir. We have seen many a chicken being abducted on cold nights by feral cats, locally called laesh, never to be returned. Often the australorp feathers, lying about in the yard, are the only evidence of the overnight struggle. So many hen coops in the damp little valley of ours have been vandalized by both -- feral cats and CRPF in the past. To even think of raising the prices of our ‘happy chicken meal’ stinks of conspiracy. An elaborate Judeo-Christian one.
While the chicken fight continues in marketplaces of Kashmir, fisticuffs of a different kind seem to have spilled onto the virtual world. Ergo in various online platforms Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) and Kashmiri Muslims (KMs) slog it out over the most mundane of matters. It is a relationship that fluctuates betwixt love-hate to hate-hate and is replete with a jarring narrative. Online KPs think that they have been wronged by offline KMs while online KMs feel that offline KPs are belittling their suffering via their online trolls. It is very complicated and doesn’t get any moderate than that.
Due to huge snowfall in the hills leopards are on the prowl in the hinterland of Kashmir. Authorities say there could be about two dozen of them. Real hungry. Meantime small children and an occasional adult gets bitten around by bitches in the streets of Srinagar while the municipality blokes sit around rusty bukharis (furnaces) wondering why the government takes an eternity to release funds for salaries. Yes there is a direct correlation between wages and inertia.
Some Harvard dude is training cops how to be politely tough with people. January 26 is approaching. An old man is preparing notes on defiance.