A large section of civil society members in Kashmir, including professors, freelance writers, politically exposed people (PEP) and journalists, has come under the radar of the intelligence agencies for their alleged role in instigating and propagating the cause of the Kashmir separatists in the valley.

Sources within the security establishment said that the role of these “overground workers” is to carry out a “soft-war” against the Indian government and espouse the cause of the Kashmir separatist forces backed by Pakistan, by criticising the government’s policies and its renewed thrust on carrying out “fatal” strikes against the terror groups.

“We have identified journalists and professors who are based in the valley and have direct access to the separatist leaders and their bosses sitting across the border. They regularly communicate with each other during which strategies on how to paint the Indian Army as an ‘occupational force’ and highlight its ‘atrocities’ and the narration that entire Kashmir wants freedom from India, are discussed. For many, it is for a financial consideration, whereas a few of them are doing it for a ‘just cause’,” a senior official familiar with the development, said.

Official sources said that the government had given the go-ahead to the security agencies to take “legitimate action” against those Indian nationals who were working for Pakistan, including calling them formally for questioning. As per information generated by the local police and intelligence agencies, some reporters were getting regular remunerations from the separatists.

The ‘over ground workers’ carry out a ‘soft-war’ against the Indian government and espouse the cause of the separatists.

According to officials, policymakers have made up their mind to solve the “Kashmir problem” once and for all by 2018-19, for which they are ready to move beyond the conventional policies that have been followed till now.

“These journalists and academicians are mostly active in the valley and work for English and Hindi media, including news channel, and are teaching in government funded institutions. The idea behind letting them know that they are on our radar is to dissuade them from doing such a massive disservice to their nation. It is a kind of soft-war that they are carrying out against the agencies and supporting the terrorists who are getting more and more belligerent with every passing day. In Kashmir, only a very small portion is ‘disturbed’, but the picture that they give out through their writings is as if the whole valley is seeking separation. The same people go silent when it comes to speaking out against how Pakistan is sending terrorists into India or how it is turning young Kashmiris into cannon fodder in pursuit of its objective. Just like some of these young Kashmiris, these intellectuals are also allowing themselves to be misused for one reason or the other,” the official added.