Mehbooba condemns ‘bloodbath’

Deplorable Act: Soz


Srinagar, July 18: Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream camp has strongly condemned the killing of innocent civilians at Gool in Ramban district of Jammu region terming the act as “barbaric”. They also called for an impartial probe into the killings.

PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar said JK is feeling orphaned at this juncture. “We have lost count of killings, inquiries and probes. We are feeling orphaned. There is even no public opinion outside Kashmir that could build pressure on the forces and government,” he said. “Government is surviving on a life-line. We have trigger-happy forces, trigger- happy police, who feel emboldened after every incident of civilian killing in JK.”
Meanwhile, in a statement issued here, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned “bloodbath in Gool.” “Human life in JK has been devalued completely as a result of callousness of government and a license to kill that has been granted to police and security forces,” she said. “The cold-blooded murder of half-a-dozen people and injuring many others without any provocation is heartrending and no words are enough to describe the tragedy or condemn it.” Mehbooba said and added that many “elements in police and security forces in the state have been enjoying atrocities on the people and it seems that their entire attitude has become sadistic.”
She said Gool incident has reportedly been a “joint venture of BSF and police”. “While the former is reported to have indulged in desecration of a religious institution and a police officer has reportedly shot at point blank at Manzoor Ahmad Shan, a lecturer, who was trying to pacify the crowd,” Mehbooba said. “This has reportedly happened in presence of Deputy Commissioner and SSP of the area. The reports received by the party indicate that the BSF also trained their guns on the unarmed people leading to the death of six people,” the PDP president said. She said it has been reported to the party that more than two dozen people have been injured. Mehbooba said it is unfortunate that rule of law has completely collapsed in JK and the police and security forces have become the law unto themselves. “The continued inability of the government to take cognizance of any killing, excesses or atrocity has reinforced the impression of the police state, where the political leadership and administration are subservient to them,” she said.

President National Conference, Dr Farooq Abdullah, has condemned the firing by paramilitary forces on people in Dharma Gool in Ramban district.
Demanding probe into the killings, Dr Farooq said such killings reverse the process of peace and reconciliation.
Additional General Secretary of NC, Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal said it was very unfortunate that deaths in Gool have taken place despite the assurances of top brass of the security forces. “The government must institute an inquiry to know the root cause of the incident. The incident obviously has a potential to add fuel to the fire and it can spill over across the state,” he said.  Kamaal lashed out at separatists for calling for Chalos and strikes. “They don’t have the courtesy to sit together and instead are eager to put lives of more people in the line of fire,” he said. “They should wait for the truth to come to fore. They should understand that government would impose a blanket ban on the movement of people and even a single violation would end up in more killings. It is high time for them to show utmost caution and douse the flames.”
Senior NC leader and MP Dr Mehboob Beg, however, said the incidents like Gool take place due to prolonged conflict. “There are vested interests everywhere now. The forces that killed innocents and unarmed civilians have no excuse. They won’t be punished as AFSPA continues to protect them,” he said. “In JK, there is a huge and deep rooted nexus between vested interests and influential people who don’t want AFSPA to go and want Kashmir to remain on boil. I am surprised as to why Civil Society of India is dumbstruck. At least, they should have come up with a statement on these unjustified killings.”

State Congress chief Prof Saifuddin Soz said he strongly condemns civilian killings at Gool in Ramban. “I strongly condemn the unfortunate incident, in which, as per official reports, forces have killed four civilians in Ramban. By killing unarmed people, forces have committed a deplorable act and I strongly condemn it,” Prof Soz told Greater Kashmir. “I make a strong plea to the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that a judicial probe be ordered immediately. I also request him to call an All Party Meeting, so that recurrence of such human rights violations is stopped completely.”

State Secretary of CPI (M) M Y Tarigami strongly condemned the killings in Gool Ramban. He termed it worst instance of misuse of powers by those who are bound to protect the lives of citizens. “The bosses of forces have failed to instill a sense of responsibility and accountability amongst the forces under their command. The killings (reportedly) by BSF and police are not only barbaric but also yet another instance of utter failure of the security establishment to rein in their forces and make them adhere to law of the land,” Tarigami observed. “The police and authorities should unconditionally apologize to the families of victims and cooperate in the probe.”

Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference has strongly condemned the killing of unarmed civilians in Gool and said that such incidents will not stop unless Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is repealed.
ANC president Begum Khalida Shah has demanded stern action against the erring forces’ personnel.

PC chairman Sajad Lone has expressed anguish and pain at the loss of innocent lives in Ramban due to the “murderous onslaught by the BSF.  “The incident is an indicator of the State’s underlying mindset of killing Kashmiris without the fear of repercussions,” he said.  “There is a common recurring theme in all instances of violence by the forces and the police that the forces can get away with murdering Kashmiris. There will be the usual theater of condemnations, shameless promises of action and phony, worthless FIRs and then all will be forgotten because apparently Kashmiri lives are cheap,” he said. Lone said now the government will order an inquiry and in the very remote chance of the inquiry actually taking place, all accused will be exonerated.  “Are Kashmiri lives so cheap that they have become hunting fowl for the Security Forces? Why is it so easy to kill a Kashmiri and get away without any consequences,” Lone asked.  Lone said that Kashmir’s contemporary history is full of bloodbaths, massacres and firings - the victims of which are still struggling for justice and closure.

“The Gool killings are a lesson for the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who despite getting assurances from the army chief that no human rights violation would take place is watching massacre after massacre helplessly. It is high time for him to step down as he is feeling helpless,” said AIP chairman Engineer Abdur Rashid. He said they tried to stage a sit-in outside Raj Bhavan against the incident but were detained by police. “The Gool killings have made it clear that Kashmiris are being treated as third-class citizens by Indian forces. Kashmir is all about fake encounters and fake condolences,” he said. Meanwhile, MLA Khansahab, Hakeem Yasin said Gool like incidents are the result of delay in Kashmir resolution. “It is very unfortunate that despite assurance of army chief to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, civilian killings continue unabated. Last 15 days saw worst incidents,” he said and demanded impartial probe into the Gool killings.
Mufti Bashirudin Farooqi also condemned the killing of six civilians at Gool, Ramban and demanded a thorough probe into the incident. He expressed grave concern and shock on unfortunate incident where forces reportedly entered Darul-ul-Aloom, Jamia Masjid Noorai Nizamia and ruthlessly beat the Nimazees offering Taraweeh. “Not only this they have reportedly desecrated the Holy Quran and other religious books. This unfortunate incident has badly hurt the sentiments of the Muslims,” he said in a statement here.  The Mufti also urged the government to take stern action against the culprits in order to control the situation.
Prof Bhim Singh, chief patron of National Panthers Party (NPP) and Member of National Integration Council has condemned Gool killings and demanded high level judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court so that the law-breakers could be brought to justice without delay.
Expressing sympathies with the families of those killed, NPP Supremo held the state government responsible for the tragedy which showed that the government has lost control on the situation and what has happened today particularly in the holy month of Ramadan is most unfortunate and unforgivable. “This incident does not leave an iota of doubt that the Omar Abdullah’s government has failed and is not capable to maintain law and order,” he said.
Prof Singh has called for immediate dismissal of the NC-Congress government to save the people from any further death and destruction.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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