Another innocent falls
And it triggers another wave of fury
WORDS WITHIN BY FIRDOUS SYED
Forced peace is superficial in nature. That’s the reason why even the semblance of peace in Kashmir is fragile. The brutal killing of Nazim Rashid Shalla of Sopore is enough to remind that hardly anything has changed in Kashmir; innocents at the hands of ‘unknown gunman’ as well as men in uniform continue to die. Every killing has to be condemned univocally. The business of selective condemnation has literally discredited the very purpose of condemnation. Yet the killing at the hands of so called custodians of law normally unimaginable obviously will attract more forceful censure than a crime committed by the shadows. The logic is simple and plain, the crime carried out by the custodians of law is much grievous than even the same nature of horrible act perpetrated by the unknown gunmen.
The death of Nazim Rashid in police custody reflects the deep menace of custodial killings.h When militancy was on its peak, custodial killings were a routine affair. For some time now with the militancy on decline, the trend of custodial killing had shown a steady decline. It’s also argued that since security forces have been successful in developing an efficient intelligence network, they do not anymore need to resort to the ‘third degree torture’ to extract the information. If so the case, why 28 year old stout and handsome looking lone son of his parents was killed mercilessly? In a conflict situation it’s never easy to draw a conclusion. But there seems to be some merit in what chief spokesman of PDP Naeem Akthar, an intellectual in his own right, has stated, “Sopore is being victimized for holding an opinion”. Why only Sopore---this restive town might have suffered more than the rest of the valley--- for that matter people of entire Jammu and Kashmir in one way or other have suffered and continue to suffer for holding an opinion--- for cherishing a dream. Yet the question remains, can the law enforcing agencies turn out to be so brutal that they can mercilessly kill people in order to crush the rebellion?
The security forces particularly the police may like to debunk the allegation of “victimized for holding an opinion” rather forcefully. Police always maintains that it does not believe in any repressive ideology, police’s job is to contain violence, crime prevention and bring to justice the criminals. Killing people in the custody is no prevention. It only indicates the brutality and inhuman behaviour. Extracting information through third degree torture is act of barbarians. Without any further comment, police need to introspect rather deeply. Torture death does not behove well for any law enforcing agency. In the backdrop of rampant HR violations in Kashmir, a custodial killing further confirms the widespread allegations of custodial disappearances and fake encounters. Moreover security forces also need to understand that the brutal killings can never suppress any rebellion, these only inflame the passions. Nazim Rashid’s custodial killing a highly condemnable act will only push people to the brink. Resorting to inhuman behaviour and third degree torture mechanisms adds to the anger that only aggravates the situation.
After every atrocity committed, hapless people of Kashmir are promised a stern action against the perpetrators of worst crimes against the humanity. So far hardly any criminal has been brought to justice. It has become customary for the present Chief Minister of the state to condemn the atrocious acts of security forces. After almost every grave human rights violation, Omar Abdullah has promised an inquiry commission or an in-house investigation. Without doubting his intentions, the chief minister needs to be asked how many erring officials were properly punished resulting out of the innumerable investigations he has ordered in the brief spell of 31 months of his rule. To categorise his rule as misrule is not the real intention here. Yet the chief minister needs to ponder over this pertinent question rather seriously. People have almost lost the faith in the shallow statements: “The death of Anjum (Nazim) Rashid in police custody is a gross human rights violation and inexcusable. Things like this cannot be allowed to happen”. People want palpable action---- justice--- and not merely the hyperbole.
When people participate in the elections out of day-to-day exigencies and not necessarily to affirm the democracy, from New Delhi to Srinagar ruler’s gleefully describe the public participation as triumph of democracy. Some enterprising ones even have the courage to declare people’s participation in the mundane electoral process as “indicating end of separatist thought in the valley”. And when the same people are suppressed and denied right to dissent and even protests why these champions of democracy go into hiding. Last year more than 110 innocents lost their lives in civilian protests. Since then the government has adopted such harsh measures that people of the valley have been denied every means of legitimate dissent. For even hurling a stone, teenagers are randomly booked under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA). It has become a routine to place under house arrest the Hurriayat leaders at the drop of a coin. Instead of curbing the frequent human right violations, the administration has developed a habit of denying people their legitimate right of protest. This time around even the PDP president and leader of opposition Mahbooba Mufti was placed under house arrest and debarred from visiting Sopore. In case the public participation is triumph of democracy, how should the denial of democratic rights, be described? Is it sham democracy or else the double standards?
However it’s not only the government that’s accused of practising double standards, all the actors in the ring seems to be hypocrites. PDP as the main opposition party must agitate the wrongs committed by the government. In an electoral process highlighting the weaknesses of the ruling party is the primary job of an opposition party. It eventually strengthens the process of accountability. But PDP needs to be asked a simple question, was the three year long PDP’s rule free from all human rights violations? Perhaps more fake encounters took place and many custodial killings were also reported between 2002 and 2005 when PDP was ruling the state. PDP’s crying hoarse is part of a political gimmick that’s why people of Sopore, rightly so, made them to flee from the scene. PDP wants to be part of the system and also decry the system. The politics of symbolic soft separatism is well known to the people in the valley. PDP apparently per se has nothing to do with the human rights violations----if it gains power tomorrow will the HR violations come to an end, absolutely not----- it only wants to grab the power by hook and crook. These are all crocodile tears.
Syed Ali Geelani again called for a strike and Mirwaiz obediently seconded the call. The so called moderate leader going a step further, in a mock rancour threatened “violent protests if the curbs on separatist leaders were not lifted forthwith.” Mirwaiz is not primarily worried about any HR violations, he seems to be greatly agonised due to his house arrest? What else the APHC leaders do other than resorting to the hartali politics, which since long has lost its sting. After some time, once the controversy settles down, all the self appointed mourners of Nazim Rashid be it APHC leaders of all factions, lawyers and even numerous human rights groups will forget the brutal death of the 28 year young man. And they will wait for another tragedy to occur. Another young man to die will help these soulless leaders to enact their tamasha. Meanwhile back-broken grief stricken old parents of Nazim will have to trudge the burden of life, alone. This has been the unfortunate story of all the human rights victims. The self appointed champions of the Azadi have not only utterly failed to put brakes on the HR violations; they have also failed to provide succour and legal relief to all those, having suffered here endlessly. The champions of Azadi will never come to the rescue of sufferers and also strive to end their sufferings? The suffering is their politics and not any real quest for Azadi.
(Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 6 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM OPINION
Cellphones used for unfair means
Srinagar, Aug 5: Final year MBBS students in Government Medical College Srinagar have been caught red-handed by Kashmir University authorities copying from cellphone and paper material. The incident occurred More
- Srinagar City
Venturing out for prayers during dark is getting difficult in the City with over one lakh and growing canines on prowl while the government is yet to get rid of the menace
Srinagar, Aug 5: Parvaiz Khan, Bilal Khan, Farooq Ahmed and engineer Arjumand –neighbors in Barbarshah locality make it a point that they go to Masjid for Tarawi and Fajr prayers together. Also, they don More
Work in govt offices remains partially affected
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Aug 5: Work was partially affected in the Government departments across Jammu region as a section of the employees went on two day strike from today to protest delay in the release of 6th Pay Commission More
- South Asia
REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI
Islamabad, Aug 5: Claiming there were "all time high security threats," Pakistan navy has moved away its main battleships out of its Mehran naval base in Karachi to the Makran coast in Balochistan.  More
Washington, Aug 5: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has accused the Syrian government of killing more than 2,000 of its own citizens during its ongoing brutal crackdown against opposition protesters More