Their`collective conscience' might have been satisfied', but ours is wounded
Congress led UPA government deciding to hang Afzal Guru secretly shocked every Kashmiri. Before the news could spread authorities had deployed hundreds of policemen and paramilitary CRPF men on the streets of Kashmir to ensure that no one steps out to mourn his death.
Strict “preventive” measures, including suspending internet services, were put in place to ensure that the word about what is happening in Kashmir doesn’t spread. Authorities claimed that stern measures were put in place to prevent situation from taking an ugly turn. It is not for the first time that people of Kashmir have witnessed curfew it was clamped in 2008 and 2010 and whenever need arose after that. Caging Kashmiris on one or other pretext has become a routine.
One wonders what prompted New Delhi to hang Afzal in hurry. Some people say that Congress couldn’t digest the growing popularity of senior BJP leader Narendar Modi, who is being projected as the prime ministerial candidate by the party. Others were of the opinion that Congress wanted to bury all the issues by hanging Afzal in order to pave way for 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It seems Afzal was sacrificed by Congress to safeguard its interests.
Soon after Afzal was hanged angry Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah appeared on various news channels and expressed his displeasure over New Delhi acting in haste.
Despite Congress being a coalition partner of National Conference in the state as well as Centre Omar claimed that he was informed about the decision to hang Afzal a few hours before the execution was scheduled to take place. It seems New Delhi doesn’t even trust its own ally? Or is it that New Delhi doesn’t care?
Afzal’s family getting a letter from Tihar Jail 51-hours after his execution has proved that Centre didn’t want to inform anyone about its “secret plan.” It seems Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was also not aware about the hanging as he reportedly conveyed his dismay to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde about Afzal’s family not being informed, four days after Afzal was hanged. Interestingly former union Home Minister and Patron of largest opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mufti Muhammad Sayeed described India as a “banana republic” after Afzal was sent to gallows.
Afzal’s hanging has punctured the tall claims of New Delhi that it wants to bridge the gap between the people of Kashmir and Centre. Had that been the case think tanks sitting in New Delhi would have definitely considered what impact it would have on Kashmiris. When Supreme Court had upheld the death sentence of Afzal Guru it had mentioned in its judgment that “he has to be hanged to satisfy the collective conscience of the nation.”
Afzal’s hanging may have satisfied the “collective conscience of India” but on the other hand it has hurt the people of Kashmir. No one heard the repeated pleas of Afzal about he not being given a fair trial and he having made confessions under duress.
Congress in 2014 can easily make hanging Afzal its poll plank as it has scored a political point over Bhartiya Janta Party but one thing is for sure it has distanced people of Kashmir from New Delhi to a great extent. To safeguard its own interests New Delhi has rendered what senior National Conference leader and Member Parliament Dr Mehboob Beg termed as mainstream politicians in the Valley as “politically impotent” as they have been left with no explanation to offer to the people.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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