Go Beyond Report

Defence Minister A K Antony has sought the report of the Pulwama incident in which seven civilians were injured when the army personnel opened fire on the people allegedly throwing stones at the security vehicles passing through the town. Antony has sought the report following the reports that a case of murder has been registered against a unit of Rashtriya Rifles in Pulwama. The incident followed an encounter with militants at a nearby village of Chandgam in which two militants were killed and a Major and a Captain of the army, besides a policeman were injured. The indiscriminate firing on the civilian population has caused public outrage in Valley where the incident has come as a throwback to the violent nineties when firing on civilian gatherings was a frequent occurrence. Valley has already observed a bandh over the incident. What, however, rankles the people more is the way such incidents are not followed up with a credible and transparent process of accountability. And even if probes are ordered they inevitably hit AFSPA roadblock. There are hundreds of lingering human rights inquiries in the state which are similarly stultified by the existence of the arbitrary provisions of AFSPA which frequently are used to justify the unjustifiable. As reported by this paper, three such inquiries into the incidents of killings of civilians by the forces this year have made little progress in establishing the guilt of the perpetrators. These inquiries were ordered into Uri, Bandipora and Rafiabad killings, and in none of them, as our report bears out, have either findings been made public or appropriate action taken. This has already bred a deep cynicism about any inquiry into any human rights excess by the army and paramilitary forces. And many times in the past, it is this disillusionment and consequent erosion of trust in the state institutions that has forced people to take to streets, which at times has plunged the Valley into extended turmoil. The Defence Minister has a rare opportunity to redeem the situation a bit.  He can force a speedy official inquiry into the incident to establish the truth and then initiate action. The gesture will certainly go some way to reassure people and even salvage some of their confidence in the system.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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