Parents of slain civilians of 2010 uprising protest killing of Amarnath Yatris
Parents of teenagers and youth killed by government forces during 2010 uprising in Kashmir staged protest here on Saturday to protest the killings of seven Amarnath Yatris in an attack in Anantnag on July 10.
The protest was held under the banner of 'Parents of Victims of 2010.' The protestors included fathers of three slain teenagers— Tufail Mattoo, Umar Qayoom and Wamiq Farooq, who were killed by government forces in 2010 uprising.
On July 10, a bus carrying Amarnath pilgrims was attacked by gunmen leading to the death of seven pilgrims and injuring several others. The incident evoked widespread condemnation from different sections of society in Kashmir.
Holding placards demanding justice for the civilians killed by government forces, the parents condemned the killings of the yatris saying "killing of one innocent person is the killing of entire humanity regardless of the religion or region one belongs to."
"We stand in solidarity with the families of the deceased. Having lost our loved ones, we can understand the pain that they are going through. Whosoever has done this barbaric act, has acted against humanity", said Abdul Qayoom, father of slain teenager Umar Qayoom.
The protestors also condemned what they termed as "selective" condemnation by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti regarding the killings of civilians. "Every innocent life matters. While the CM has rightly condemned the
killings of Amarnath Yatris, there is a criminal silence on her part regarding the killings of the civilians by the state forces, " said Ashraf Mattoo, father of slain teenager Tufail Mattoo, whose killing triggered 2010 uprising.
In 2010 uprising, more than 120 civilians were killed by the government forces, however, there has been no progress in prosecuting the accused. The parents and relatives of the victims have been running from pillar to post for the past seven years for justice but to no avail. The government ordered enquiries and appointed Kaul commission to probe the civilian killings in 2010 uprising. Calling the government enquiries as "farce", Ashraf Mattoo, said "these commissions appointed by the government are violating their own systems and exposing their dubious face in the process."
"We do not want any compensation from the government. We seek justice which the present government as well as its predecessor has denied us", Matto said.
Disappointed and dejected by the state institutions to deliver justice to the victims, the parents urged the international institutions like the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR). The commission has thrice sought access to the Jammu and Kashmir from the government of India to be allowed to investigate the matter and give justice to the victims.
"We hope that the way the Kashmiris are raising their voice against the killing of innocent civilians, the people in India too will raise their voice against the killings of innocent Kashmiris," the parents of slain teenagers and youth said.