The killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan and his associates Sartaj and Parvaiz by the security forces on 8th July, 2016, has led to killing of innocent people in Kashmir. At this moment, when I am writing these lines, 47 people including minors and women have been killed and thousands injured. Majority of them have received pellet-gun shots and bullets in their eyes, faces and chests and many of them are struggling for life in different hospitals. Mass massacre to such an extent has never been witnessed in any other part of the country.
Even though the whole Valley is under curfew, people are protesting against excesses committed by the forces and there is little hope about peace returning to the valley permanently. Instead of expressing grief over the loss of innocent lives, the unwise and incendiary statements by the central leaders and certain TV channels are adding fuel to the fire. On the other hand, state government's banning of publication of local newspapers and suspending mobile and internet facilities have caused unwarranted inconvenience to the people.
Burhan belonged to a literate family and is said to have been unreasonably tortured along with his brother who was later killed. These sufferings led Burhan to join militancy. Being talented he used social media to attract youth, infused new life to the armed struggle and gained prominence.
Common people in the country denounce the mass killings of innocent protestors of Kashmir. They protested against the excesses committed by the security forces at Janter-Manter and thereby cherished the democratic principles enshrined in the constitution of the country.
Professor Sudarshan K. Kumar, head of the team of eye-specialists from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, while examining the patients injured by pellet guns, in SMHS Srinagar, on 14 July, 2016, compared the magnitude of damage caused by the lethal weapon with "a war like situation", and said that he hadn't seen such scale of injuries in recent years
According to a report by NDTV, Burhan had not crossed the Line of Actual Control, was not involved in any terror attack and therefore no FIR was lodged against him in any police station.
While condemning the brutal use of pellet guns and excessive force on protestors across Kashmir, and quoting an Army General about 3.5 minute encounter in which Burhan was killed, PDP MP and legal luminary Muzaffar Hussain Baig, said that the Supreme Court Judgement about the "Standard Operation Procedure" has not been followed in the said operation.
This is not all; certain revelations expose the extent to which state terrorism is common in Kashmir. According to Times of India (July 12, 2016) indigenous violence in the pursuit of 'azadi' clubbed with the deep state games played by both India and Pakistan to get at each other, provide fertile ground for mythologies in Kashmir. In the same news the paper quotes some officer who studied the post 2008 militancy closely, having disagreed to the fact that Burhan was a militant material and having said, "I think we fell in the Pakistan trap. They led us to him to create an icon out of him for the new generation in Kashmir. They have succeeded".
History is a witness that after the partition of the country, the freedom struggle of Kashmiri's has experienced varied ups and downs. It was either weakened by the bickering between resistance factions or the machinations of the pro-Indian political stalwarts. Thus, right from 1947 Kashmir is turmoil-ridden. All efforts to seek permanent solution to the dispute have always fallen prey to the Machiavellian promises like "sky is the limit', `talking within the ambit of Insaniyat' and `neighbours cannot be changed', of the central leaders
History of nations can never be metamorphosed. All despotic rulers had to vacate the colonies they ruled, sooner or later. The British had to leave from Egypt, French from Algeria, USA from Vietnam, Russia from Afghanistan and British had to leave India after ruling it for one hundred years. Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory. And the dispute must be solved. Sooner the better.
(Prof Muhammad Ismail is a former College Principal)