Author: Saadut
•11:12 PM

Another day in Kashmir, one more innocent is killed by the armed forces and the same circle of rehashed statements by the perpetrators of ‘mistaken identity’, ‘suspected militant’. By the time I am writing this piece, the well practiced political statements of ‘condemnations’ and ‘inquiry has been ordered’ must have been issued. Customary statements by the political power chair aimed more at buying time and silence till another day, till one more similar incident and then the replay of same ‘condemnation’ statement. More often than not, victims of such state crimes come from the poor section of society (not that other classes have been spared by the iron fisted state in Kashmir) poor often present no political challenge to these power brokers in the state, hence their fate and voices go unheeded. This young victim Hilal Ahmed Dar was the sole earner in a poor family of six, the eldest son of his parents. Supposed to get married after Eid, Army is alleged to have picked him on his way to prayers and then tortured him to death in the Helmatpora forests.  Incidentally only a few days back (on 23rd July) army soldiers had fired on another civilian in Lashkoot forests around the same north Kashmir town and injured him critically. Such incidents of civilians being used for target practice in Kashmir have maintained a steady number over the years and so has the muted indifference to this Kashmir bloodletting in India become a standard.

Every innocent killing evokes peoples protests and the state machinery responding with the customary issuance of that same old statement ‘condemnation and promise of inquiry’; a standard statement template having been used by these politicians for decades. ‘We condemn’ from the politicians would actually mean ‘we care not two hoots’. Of all the copy pasted claims of ‘will ensure impartial inquiry into the incident’ by the politician, not even one has seen light of any day, not one confronted with justice. The same rhetoric of ‘will ensure impartial inquiry into the incident’ was also used in the Anchidora killings, Sopore custodial killing, Handwara, Rafiabad, Uri and numerous other killings yet not even in one incident has any justice been dispensed.

Ironically a political state which flexes muscles and barrel power against the unarmed civilian population, fails to muster any courage in front of the armed forces that it is supposed to ‘Unified’(ly) Command’. The common people here are not only to bear the onslaught of an unrelenting trigger happy armed force but also the apathy of the political arrangement which seems only to provide an alibi to these crimes. How can then such an indifferent political arrangement claim to represent ‘the common people’?

For quite some time the preset political dispensation has been ‘verbally seeking’ for a repeal of controversial act AFSPA and for the same duration of time the Army has been strongly voicing opposition to its repeal. This opposition to repeal has been holding fort in spite of the fact that AFSPA has not only been condemned by human right groups but has also been proved to having provided immunity for colossal crimes committed by these forces. And in spite of a strong case for its repeal, the present political dispensation has not been able to do anything about its repeal, except for the occasional ‘repeal whimper’.
While the news space tussle and political rhetoric show over AFSPA continues, so does the number of dropped civilian cadavers at the hands of security forces and that too with alarming frequency.

When the political dispensation saw “peace is taking roots gradually (in Kashmir) and the days of desperation vanishing,” Army had quite a contrary opinion. Immediately after the “peace is taking roots” statement had been aired, the Army was back with “Situation in Kashmir Valley alarming”.  The “situation is alarming” red flag raised by the Army was rebuked with a “If the situation is alarming, that means there is failure of somebody. They (the army) should talk about that also, as to whose failure it is,"

Even as this “I am more correct than you” battle was going on, more young men had been laid to ambush, more lives erased to barrel terror. In yesterdays Bandipora killing, even before the political dispensation had presented a copy of its old ready to use statement of ‘will ensure impartial inquiry into the incident’ the Army had refused to hold any inquiry into killing. It must have been taken lot of SOS from Srinagar to New Delhi to have the Defense Minister overrule the Army ‘inquiry refusal’ and order an inquiry into the killing.  But in a state where established crimes like the Pathribal fake encounter were denied by Army for decades (even after CBI had conclusively proven the fake encounter), where Machil, Brakpora, Uri and countless other crimes continue to be confined to dungeons of injustice, you don’t expect such ‘announced probes’ to yield much.

Mera Qatil Hi Mera Munsif Hai ; Kya Mere Haqq Mai Faisla Dega

While the political dispensation is busy securing its own power grip, governance and the safety of common citizens does not seem to be in its priorities. In such governance mirage while a political dispensation may have occupied the power seat but it is clearly the uniform which is calling the shots.

We live in a barrel and jackboot driven state. 

26th July, 2012

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