Truth and Justice Commission
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Truth and Justice Commission

But sensing that the Kashmiri women have vowed to get justice for the survivors, the authorities have moved court to hamper their valiant struggle for justice.

The former Chief Minister floated the idea of Truth and Reconciliatory Commission (TRC) which, according to him could help in restoration of peace and order.  However, the idea was abandoned as it did not find any takers in Kashmir.  Well, truth has always been a casualty in Kashmir. Truth is bitter and has to be concealed in this part of the world in `national interest'.  In the coming days, the people of Kashmir will observe the anniversary of the infamous Kunanposhpora rapes. The authorities have employed administrative and legislative means to conceal the truth about the tragic incident. But sensing that the Kashmiri women have vowed to get justice for the survivors, the   authorities have moved court to hamper their valiant struggle for justice.    

The pro-freedom quarters believe that remembrance is their only weapon against tyranny. The victims nurture similar tendencies. Before going further, it is important to know what  reconciliation is all about.  The term reconciliation is coined when the victims are told to   forget the past, forgive the perpetrators and start a fresh. Is it possible in Kashmir? Can Kashmiris forget what they have undergone for the past twenty-eight years? How can they forget that scores of women were raped in a single night at Kunanposhpora? How can a father who had to carry his only son to the graveyard reconcile? How can a mother forgive the persons who subjected her son to enforced disappearance?  How can a youth forgive the persons who inserted an iron rod into his rectum and caused perforation in his intestines? It is very difficult to forget the past and in Kashmir it is almost impossible. Then, what is the alternative?

People across the globe are well acquainted with the truth about Kashmir. The failure of the government to bring the perpetrators to justice is painful for the sufferers.  It wreaks havoc with their psychology especially when the victims happen to be women and children.  A few cases merit special mention here. A sixty-year-old lady (name withheld) who was raped at Kunanposhpora. She passed away recently. But after the incident, she had confined herself to a room. Another woman is scared of looking into the mirror. She said: "Looking into the mirror is a painful exercise for me. It reminds me of that dreadful night. I see faces of my rapists in the mirror. It sends a wave of chill through my spine. My nightmare may end when I hear that the rapists have been punished."

A kid's father was killed in his presence. Her mother has turned blind. The kid has now grown up, but unfortunately abnormally.  A leading psychologist while commenting on his abnormal growth said: "When a family loses its head, the children automatically assume the role of the head of the unfortunate family. It brings about hormonal changes in them. They grow abnormally. This, however, is not a good sign. Such children can be compared to a balloon inflated beyond capacity. It withstands the pressure for some time but ultimately bursts. We call it premature maturity." The youth hates violence but awaits justice. "I am waiting for the day when the killers of my father shall be hanged." Will the day ever come?    

A post graduate (name concealed) in Zoology, 54, has not married. He was picked up by the BSF repeatedly to extract information about his nephew who was a militant. "They inserted a rod in my private organ and connected it to a battery. The shocks had an adverse effect on my organ. I cannot think of marriage." He too wants justice. When asked to forget his horrifying experiences, he shivers. "How can I forget it?"   

The local human rights defenders have been accused of exaggerating the facts very often. While it will not be proper to rule out such allegations in totality, the authorities in the process of denying a fact admit it. Parveena Ahanger whose son was picked up in August 1990 has been working hard to know about his whereabouts. She was offered a huge amount of money to persuade her to withdraw the case from the High Court.  Why did the authorities offer money? Isn't it an admission on their part?

To mislead world opinion, the local authorities order probes into rights violations. However, a few probes have been completed. In most of the cases the probe findings have not been made public. This is how truth has been repeatedly killed in Kashmir.  And, in cases where cases were filed for various reasons, the criminal justice system was not allowed to function properly.

So nothing will change unless truth comes out and justice is done.  One fails to understand as to why Delhi goes out of way to shield some people who are tarnished India's image by indulging in acts like extra-judicial executions, rapes and enforced disappearances. Men in uniform are above law and this is the message that has been repeatedly conveyed.  

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