Of fake encounters and the Supreme Court verdict
ANALYSIS BY DR.MIRZA ASHRAF BEG
Recently Supreme Court of India comprising justice Markandey and Justice Giyan Sudha Misra in their judgment pronounced fake encounters ‘if proved’ should be treated as rarest of rare cases and the offending police men involved sent to the gallows. The highlights of the verdict read as, ‘fake encounters are cold blooded brutal murder by persons supposed to uphold the law. Trigger happy policemen who think they can kill people in the name of an encounter and get away with it should know that gallows await them. Policemen won’t be excused for committing murder in the name of a fake encounter on the pretext that they were carrying out the orders of their superior officers or politicians. If a policeman is given an illegal order by any superior to do a fake encounter it is his duty to refuse to carry out such an illegal order, otherwise he will be charged for murder. The encounter philosophy is a criminal philosophy and all policemen must know it.’
Fare enough, at least the Supreme Court has acknowledged ‘between the lines’ that fake encounters are there and people involved must be punished. The question is who will prove a fake encounter and who will prosecute the perpetrators? In our system where security structure and politics is intertwined for self interests’ justice is a farfetched dream. For the last twenty years we have witnessed scores of brutal acts worse than killings where soldiers were involved but who will stand against them and who will bell the cat?
Our memories are still fresh when a newlywed bride was gang raped at Kokernag Islamabad on the night when she was on way to the nuptial chamber of her husband. We also know how scores of women irrespective of their age were gang raped in Kununkhospora Kupwara. Besides this, we have scores of instances where men in uniform have escaped because they have immunity through your AFPSA and such other commandments. But history has to play its role and it will do so come what may.
Not long ago the day President of America Bill Clinton was visiting India thirty six people of our Sikh community were killed by unknown gunmen in his honor at Chatisinghpora Islamabad that was followed by brutal murder of six young men from my home town Islamabad in a so called encounter declaring them as Afghanis. DNA tests and eye witness reports contradicted the prosecution theory despite that the culprits went scot-free because the sufferers were the helpless victims against powerful government machinery.
In a democratic setup security and safety of a common man is the duty of an elected government so we need to explain how did unidentified graves mushroom in Uri Tangdar and Machil sectors of our ceasefire line and where are our hundreds of disappeared youth? If not today someone will have to answer for all these issues one day. It would be better if our Supreme Court appoints a fact finding commission before someone else takes up the issue.
These days there is a hot debate if the ongoing summer will be peaceful because one hundred twelve innocents were martyred during the last summer. Some of them were chased to their homes by blood thirsty bullets that did not spare even house wives sitting home. The easiest way to silence the dependents is to send hundred thousand ‘Indian rupees’ to the victim’s home as the blood money. A novel way of legalizing killings? People of Kashmir have full faith in the theory of Indian judiciary system but here in Kashmir need is to strengthen the process of implementation.
During my tenure of twenty two years I have keenly observed Sharia being implemented in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I have never seen a hand being chopped because law and order is strictly implemented hence there were no thefts. Yes I have seen people being lashed for getting drunk or involved in drug trafficking. At the same time I don’t claim that is a crime free society because so long as we are humans we are vulnerable to temptations to cross the prohibited Lekhasman Rekha. I remember two policemen being beheaded in front of a mosque after Friday prayers because they were proved to be involved in the molestation of a Yamani boy. The punishment for the said crime is just lashing in public but taking cognizance of the fact that security forces were the custodians of law Sharia court sentenced them to death by beheading. I am conscious of the fact that is possible in a society that according to our democratic norms is a barbarian way of living but let me tell you sir people don’t have sleepless nights there because security forces are not on the rampage in that culture. Justice is Justice and it is delivered in letter and spirit and it is for all.
It is not only the fake encounters that worries a common man here, ‘killed in crossfire, fire in a panic reaction’ and a host of such theories that is difficult to understand. What happened in Malygaon, Makkah Masjid and if I am not wrong how brutally Kausar Bi and her husband Suhrab-u-din Shiekh were killed in a farm house in Narindhar Modi’s Gujrat and then declared as terrorists killed in cross fire. I have always condemned the gun even when it is misrepresented in the name of religion, let us also condemn it when it is misused in the name of security. There seems something wrong in the system let us rise up collectively to correct it. At the same time I must adore the Honorable judges of the Supreme Court for expressing their sympathies for a helpless nation that has always been on the receiving end.
(The columnist is the writer of the book, ‘Kashmir in search of peace.’ Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 25 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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