Where who kills whom, and why becomes an intriguing set of questions
Cold blooded murder of two innocent sisters, Arifa and Akhtar, in Sopore, at the hands of ‘unidentified gunmen’ is a cruel reminder that people of Kashmir are badly caught in the web of an intractable conflict. Every conflict has some dehumanising impact on the society, while ordinary suffer, a section benefiting from the conflict develops a vested interest in the continuation of the conflict; thus emerges a conflict enterprise. Kashmir has produced its own brand of conflict enterprise, which solely thrives on the occurrence of deaths. It will not be an overstatement if the conflict enterprise in Kashmir is renamed as ‘coffin sellers’ or for that matter ‘graveyard merchants’.
The death of two teenage girls shook the common man to the core, yet it did not deter politicians to draw mileage from the ghastly incident. The cacophony of blame game and point scoring began even before the poor victims were buried. Omar Abdullah taunted the pro-freedom leaders for not condemning the killings. Oh God! Chief Minister pained by the killings of two young women sounds to be a cruel joke; killers of Aasiya Jan and her pregnant sister-in-law, Neelofar are still roaming free just below his nose, what moral right he has to criticise others. Shopian tragedy is shrouded in mystery, but what about the Machil fake encounter case, wherein criminals stands fully identified and police has even filed a charge sheet in the court. Army instead of cooperating with the local authorities has raised fingers on the credibility of entire judicial system in J&K. When the Army Chief was asked why the Army was opposing a civilian trial in the alleged fake Machil encounter: “I don’t know how much you are aware of the legal system in the Valley. There are various pressures out there. You are aware of Miyan Qayoom, who was President of the Bar Association and now he is in detention and he has been rabidly anti- India”. Chief Minister is well within his right to mock Hurriyat leadership but he will never dare Army to see reason and make them produce the culprits in the court of law. Killers of Machil or Chetisinghpora will continue to roam scot-free. Army may be beyond his preview, last year more than hundred teenagers were killed by his own police. How many have been punished for the cold blooded murder of innocents? Appointment of inquiry commissions have so far failed delivery of justice, these have proved to be diversionary tactics, making mockery of the justice itself.
Killing of the girls in Sopore also provided professional protestors to display their skills. Who were these covered faced protestors appearing in Partap Park, holding placards with slogans ---What was the crime of Arifa and Akhter--- and--- why no general strike was observed over the killing of the two teenagers, genuine human right activists or agents of agencies? It is not mere cynicism or criticism for the sake of criticism, Kashmir has produced its own breed of human right activists. It is not to say that no genuine human rights activists believing in universal human rights, exists here. There are few, they have been pushed to some obscure corner by people on the payroll of Indian and Pakistani intelligence agencies, masquerading as human right activists. Most of the human rights activists one comes across these days are the product of conflict, they were unknown commodities before the advent of militancy. It may be more appropriate to describe these human right activists as paid political workers, their approach is highly selective. Majority of them will only like to focus upon a violation committed by Indian forces. Making travesty of the victims, their main objective is not to get the culprit punished or cessation of HR violations but to use violations as a propaganda tool to embarrass India. We in our part of the world commonly say that if horse becomes friendly with grass what will he eat? Likewise if violations come to an end, what will remain there to agitate over and in that case who will pay these mercenaries? It is not an allegation; two decades have gone-by, why human rights activists have failed to develop effective mechanism so that culprits can be brought to book. Inflating the figures is an act of politics that serves only the propaganda purposes. Another group of human right activists act as apologists of security forces; these will only condemn the atrocities committed by the militants. Is there anybody in Kashmir who has condemned the violations holistically irrespective of colour and creed of a perpetrator, publicly?
The less talked about pro freedom leaders the better. Shopian was exploited to the hilt, but whenever an unidentified gunman acronym for a militant, commits a crime, they maintain a criminal silence. Beyond a weak murmur that too in the secure environment of their drawing rooms they have never forcibly condemned criminal acts carried by the militants; it may damage the cause. What kind of cause it is, where killing of innocents serves the purpose? Killing innocents may have only served the interests of India or Pakistan and not of the movement that is the reason why paid agents here have always condemned the violations selectively.
Pro-freedom leadership often accuse that unending deaths of civilians have been turned into mere ‘cold statistics’, ‘all the inquiry commissions have failed to nab the culprits’. The process of condemnation by way of issuing press notes has also been turned into a ridiculous ritualistic exercise. No party seems to be genuinely interested in stopping the deaths of civilians. Human right violations provide separatists raw material to keep the furnace of conflict afire. Likewise civilians killed by militants also offer government an opportunity to describe the freedom struggle as a terrorist movement. It has become a murky business. For a commoner the death of a civilian is painful, it is more distressing when a common man is unable to distinguish who killed whom and why?
It took no time for the police to claim that militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was responsible for the killing of Arifa and Akhtar. The LeT suspected “the two sisters to be police informers”. However Ghulam Nabi Dar father of the killed girls has strongly refuted the ‘informer theory’ and LeT also has disowned the act. Even if informer theory is to be believed, still it raises many questions. A militant organisation for its own reasons considering a person to be police informer may take some extreme step, which is condemnable in every respect. But police pushing gullible towards harms ways is equally deplorable. A person acting according to his/her belief against militancy may be described as an act driven out of conviction. The two teenage girls having semi urban impoverished background if working for the police would have not become police informers on the basis of any ideology. The girls would have been helping police simply for some monetary benefit or some other mundane purposes? Indeed human intelligence is of critical nature, without eyes and ears on ground, it will be difficult for police to carry on with their anti militancy operations. Still there has to be some standard procedure followed, who could be deployed as a police informer? Unarmed village girls were incompetent to protect themselves in a highly militant affected area like Sopore. Police cannot escape the responsibility of making two innocent young girls the cannon fodder. There is strong possibility that the girls were not police informers? In such a scenario where is the reason for militants to kill two harmless girls? Girls might have not been killed by the militants at all. Yet there is question which needs to be answered, whose interests the death of Arifa and Akhtar served and why they were killed?
Is this the price poor girls had to pay, because they belonged to a conflict zone? The horrible killing might have served somebody’s interest, but the people of Kashmir will never be able to know whose? This mystery will remain unearthed. Hundreds of civilians have died during past two-decades and consigned to the ugly dark corner of unidentified gunmen. Alas people will continue to die, courtesy double standards of both; pro-freedom leadership as well the government of the day.
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Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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