Do You Really want to Raise The Bar
Arshad Andrabi Advocate responds to an article by Riyaz Ahmad about the recent killing of an infant.
In an article titled ‘Raising the Bar’ by Riyaz Ahmad (GK 10th March 2010) , the report released by the High Court Bar Association relating to the death of the ten days old infant has been commented upon. The author in his tryst for ‘truth’ has missed the basic facts and has gone to formulate a long sermon about the conclusions drawn by the Bar members. Unmindful of the fact that Bar Team did not draw or suggest any conclusions in its report and gave only a truthful account of the sequence of the events as narrated by the victim’s family members. The matter being under investigation with the police, all the Bar members being conscious about the legal implications of the case could not have concluded anything about the real happenings which may unfold during the investigation of the case. It was perhaps a section of politically motivated people with vested interests who had tried to use this unfortunate incident to arouse the humanitarian feels of common people by giving emotional statements about the death of a ten days old infant in peculiar circumstances. Instead of fixing responsibility or accepting their failures in the given circumstances of the case, a vicious propaganda campaign has already been started whereby attempt is being to demoralise any voice of dissent against the people in power, or dare to support the resistance movement. Sermons and Fatwas are already floating on the subject and real cause is being distorted.
While making such comments in the article, ‘ …What baffles one’s understating is why of all the incidents involving stone pelting youth in Valley, the Bar should rush to defend the perpetrators in this case…..’ , the author is more concerned about the fate of blame game started by a section of politicians using this incident where people are led to believe that the people raising voice or protest are not to be heard and it will be futile for them to resist against the oppressive forces. They want to convince them that the police and their mentors are smarter than the ordinary people at least in such matters. The new police doctrines adopted in the meetings of the Unified Command require them to demoralise and isolate the people connected the resistance movement. Interestingly, the report of the Bar has not been to the taste of some politicians in power and their presuppositions are perhaps proving wrong that the people are going to believe that the infant was killed by the stone pelters on Varmul bridge which will give them an excuse to arrest hundreds of youth in the town under this open ended FIR. The report of the Bar suggests that the fact that infant got killed somewhere at the outskirts of Sopore town and not in Varmul. The proverbial ‘wolf and lamb’ story is proving to be wrong and therefore, conclusions and comments are coming forth which are not at all related to the Bar Report or its contents. It may be informed that the Bar Team did not rush to the spot in Rawoosa in Danghwacha only, but during the current month had to make number of visits to various places in South and North Kashmir viz, Ratnipora, Rajpora in Pulwama, Chinkipora in Sopore , Dadsara, Lurgam , Pastuna in Tral etc. All these incidents depict a similarity of pattern in perpetrating gross human rights violations on the helpless population, coupled with inaction of the police and administration and the subsequent impunity and immunity to such violators followed by a propaganda campaign to camouflage the events.
On 23th January 2010. Qalampora village in Rajpora Pulwma underwent a traumatic experience when the ‘Security forces’ cordoned off the village, and the inmates of the house of Numberdar Ghulam Muhammad were first hurdled in one room and later kept hostage as a shield for hours together. In the evening one of their sons, Mushtaq Ahmed returned from SKIMS after getting her wife a dose of chemotherapy for her ailment being under treatment there . On reaching home the ailing wife was stopped outside and her husband forced on gunpoint to go inside the house where militants were suspected of hiding. He was asked to go from room to room, light bulbs and instructions were being given to him on mobile phone, when finally according his family members they heard gun shots from inside the house and thereafter silence. The Army Officers came to his brother and inquired in all callousness that they were not able to hear anything from Mushtaq as his mobile phone which only kept ringing . They informed the family that militants have ‘got mixed up’ with the Armed personnel and might have escaped. When the siege was lifted the family found Mushtaq lying in a pool of blood in the corridor. The wife of the deceased narrates the story of the whole, day when she was accompanying the deceased while getting a dose of chemotherapy in SKIMS. She wears several question marks on her sad face which nobody can answer. The family alleges that Mushtaq was first used as a shield by the Army and later on killed for no fault on his part or even an excuse. The whole area was enraged. The local police which did nothing to rescue the local residents from the clutches of the combatant armed security forces. The anger and public wrath against their helplessness was unleashed the next morning, when the whole area protested and there was sloganeering and ‘stone pelting’. Police has registered an FIR against the Army , but as usual no progress, nor even any hope of some progress….
On 22nd February 2010, Mir Mohalla in Chinkipora Sopore witnessed another ordeal . The ‘Security forces’ cordoned the whole area in the thick of night. In the wee hours of 23rd February at around 4.45 AM , the residents of the Mohalla woke up hearing the intense volleys of gunshots, shells and grenades. Dumbfounded they could not move at all. At the most they could huddle in the lower rooms in their houses and counting their family members. They could only peep through window sills to see the Armed forces having taken over their locality. Nobody was allowed to leave his place. Some residents tried to contact the local police on mobile phones but they could be of no help. Most of the residents had to remain as such till late in the evening. In the evening they were let off when the cordon was still going on. They returned to their hearths on the third day , to see all their belonging in a state of rubble. Army had used bulldozers to demolish their houses. Only heaps of debris all over. Their household belonging blended in heaps of Rubble. They allege that all the valuables were taken away and the rest was turned into heaps of rubble…a ‘la Israeli’ pattern. The residents were wondering why so much of arms and ammunition was used. A Helicopter hovered in air, armoured cars deployed, even local Naval unit kept ready. It looked like a regular war field or a rehearsal of it. Excessive use of ammunition and resources. The whole area was in tears with anger and helplessness in their eyes. An old women pointed out to heap of debris which was her house a few days ago and told that her cow got buried there. She must be still breathing there under debris. The residents did not see any militant activity in the area and were surprised about the heavy use of arms and explosives when neither any militant was ever claimed to have been killed nor captured. All the newsflashes shown on media were proved wrong. The local residents complained of excesses and gross human rights violations which was beyond anybodies imagination. Their miseries did not end their , the SOG men are still haunting their youth, snatching their Identity Cards and harassing them. They are asked to attend police station every day. The apathy and inaction of the local administration and inability of Police to provide any kind of relief is unexplainable.
In Dadsara Tral on 3rd March 2010, the Armed forces cordoned off Mir Mohalla. Encounter with four militants ended after 48 hours. The local population reported their horrible stories to the Bar members as all their valuables were looted in the operation. The soldiers had taken over the locality , occupied their houses, broke open their shops and took away everything from there. Excessive use of ammunition during the days to terrorize the local population who had to remain away from their homes and homes by compulsion. The local Jaima Masjid has been desecrated. Soldiers entering the Mosque after breaking open the locked doors. Main door of the second floor has still a lock on it but the door has been taken out . Most of the windows broke and glass pieces lie all over the second floor of the mosque. The Almirah containing Holy Scriptures has been fired upon and the hole suggests a fire from close range. Holy Books scattered. The locals complained that dead drunk soldiers entered the mosque wearing their boots and desecrated the mosque. They showed us the empty liquor bottles with markings of Army supply. After the incident the houses were blasted by planting mines under them . What remains there are heaps of rubble. The role of local police is conspicuous by the absence and inaction . The police did nothing to provide any relief to the people stranded in the armed conflict. They don’t show their presence and play no role as friends or guardians of people. The Bar Team visited Dadsara and other areas of Tral on 7th March 2010. On that day a contingent of local police tried to obstruct the visit of the Bar Team itself without having any legitimate authority to do so.
On 28.2.2010, in Chinkipora Sopore, while the Bar Team was listening and recording the statements of the residents about the incident of dismantling the houses in Chinkipora Soproe, one Gh Rasool Ganai from Syed Karim Varmul, came to the Bar members and informed that situation in Varmul Town was equally worse. There is shut down since Friday. Police is harassing the local youth and about 100 youth in Varmul are being hunted in the case relating to the death of 10 days old infant . He informed that different versions of story were coming from the local media and people need to know the truth. He requested the Bar members to take up the matter and provide what relief is possible through judiciary. There after, Bar received some more complaints of police atrocities and contradictions in the versions floated regarding this incident . The Bar decided to visit Rawoosa- Dangwacha to have an on spot assessment of the real facts.
The Bar team visited Rawoosa in Dangiwach in Rafiabad are on Friday, 5th March 2010. Family was visited at around 12.00 in the noon . Two lady lawyers accompanying the team went inside to have an interaction with the mother of the child. The statements of father and grandfather of the child were recorded in presence of all the residents. They narrated that on the fateful day , the whole Varmul district was protesting in anger and rage against the incidents in Chinkipora Sopore. They were aware that there were public demonstrations going on in towns of Sopore , Varmul etc . The family of infant named Irfan, who was born only ten days ago on 12th February 2010 in local hospital after a minor surgery , decided to take him to the hospital as he was febrile. The parents were accompanied by grandfather and 4 year old Ubaid. They took the infant to the local Hospital in Dangihwacha, where two lady doctors were present . They were informed that, there was no Paediatrician in the Hospital and one of the lady doctors attended the child and prescribed some medicine. The family didn’t purchase the medicine, but decided to proceed to Varmul. They boarded a Sumo vehicle upto Ladoora. They tried to locate some Paediatrcian in Ladoora Hospital , but there was none. They came back to Ladoora Bus stand and boarded a TATA Mini bus [which they called a Matador] towards Varmul. The mini bus was completely overloaded but still they boarded the same . At the request of the grandfather, one of the passengers near the front door offered a seat to the mother carrying the infant. After a while at some place between Juice factory and chakla, the vehicle was stopped . Some hoodlums were forcing the people to come down from the buses. During this commotion some passenger fell on the mother carrying the infant. The family cried and protested and came down from the mini bus. Shortly afterwards, they were offered lift by a Red coloured Maruti who carried them to Varmul at a distance of 15 minutes drive in car. On reaching the Old Bridge in Varmul they found a ding dong battle going on the bridge. Upon their request they were let off by the protesters who stopped their fight for a while. Even the CRPF deployed there stopped their responses . They were let to cross the bridge and were able to entered the Varmul Hospital. Doctors gave an injection to the infant and after sometime their efforts proved to be futile and y they declared the child dead . No record was maintained in Varmul Hospital. They had to return home and found Dangwacha police waiting in their home ,who had wireless instructions from the SP Baramulla to register an FIR about the death of the infant. The dead child was taken to Dangiwacha Hospital again, where some lady doctor recorded the cause of death as ‘Compression’. This is the version given by all the family members to the police as well as the Bar members.
In the subsequent statements the death of the infant has been attributed to the stone pelters at Varmul Bridge. In the article appearing in GK on 10th March , the author has tried to build up his arguments that the incident of compression or suffocation in the mini bus took place when the family was entering the Varmul Town and it was due to actions of the youth raising slogans or pelting slogans in Varmul Town that the death resulted as a result of compression. The facts narrated in the Bar Report nowhere suggest that. In fact it was a 15 minutes drive in a Maruti Car away from Varmul where the unfortunate incident must have taken place in the outskirts of Sopore Town. How could the politicians and police officers issue statements to the press and media, that the youth who were agitating in Varmul are responsible for the death of the infant. Some people feel uneasy when the truth starts unfolding and they resort to carefully worded propaganda to confuse the common man. Nowhere has the Bar report drawn or suggested any conclusion and they have only informed the people about the facts as narrated by the family members which they claimed to have made before the police also. It is for the police to complete the investigation and come out with the real cause and identify the real culprits. What is interesting is the role of some politicians who gave statements on the floor of the Assembly and issued statements in the press and media implicating their adversaries even before the investigation is concluded by the police itself.
So before commenting on such serious issues, we must not overlook the facts on the ground.
…..Tou Abhi Aadabe Ghulami se hai Gafil abtak
Raqs Zanjeer Pehan kar bhi kya jata hai
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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