Stop Witch Hunting

The detention of seventeen-year-old disabled girl of village Botengoo, in Anantnag district, for her alleged involvement in stone pelting during summer 2010 speaks volumes about the mindset of a good section of the state police. On the pretext of seeking some information from the girl regarding the bullet injury she had suffered during the turbulence, she was summoned to the police station and detained. The Station House Officer, on his own, or on the orders from the top   booked the girl under various charges including attempt to murder. The court releasing her on bail is not of much consequence; what is causing concern is that police, by chasing the shadows of 2010 and arresting youth for their alleged involvement in stone pelting during the year, is scratching the healed public wounds.  The killing of a student in Srinagar sparked the summer dissent of 2010. It cost 120 precious lives, unprecedented sufferings to the people and virtually brought the state economy to the brink. Had not the authorities overreacted to the public anger against the killing of the youth many human lives would have been saved? Stating that ‘he made a mistake of not being seen or heard in the summer of 2010 when trouble first started’, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday made a frank admission about inapt handling of the public anger. Notwithstanding remorsefulness of the chief minister, mishandling the situation some police officers, by raking up old issues, are endangering peace.
The arresting of teenage disabled girl in Islamabad (Anantnag) for her alleged involvement is not first of its kind but indicates towards a policy adopted by the state.  Many youth were arrested during September, October and November from old Srinagar, Baramulla and Islamabad for allegedly being involved in 2010 protests. These arrests had sparked demonstrations in many parts of the city and other towns threatening the fragile peace of the state. Like many other summers of ‘dissent’ of the past, the summer of 2010 has also been consigned to the pages of history.  The two years peace that followed the protests brought booming tourism to the state, for enabling the peace to strike strong roots the police should stop witch hunting.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 25 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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