SRINAGAR: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the execution of Afzal Guru and the manner of dealing with the fallout in Kashmir has resulted in reinforcement of the sense of denial of justice among the people here. In a statement Mehbooba said here today that there is a long standing grouse among the people in the state that they have been treated differently and unjustly at collective and individual levels when it came to application of law and constitution. “Unfortunately this view has only been vindicated by the way and the myopic handling of Guru’s case and its impact on Kashmir.”
Mehbooba said while the long term repercussions of Afzal hanging would have to be observed carefully it is time that government of India revisited the entire approach to J&K and the problems faced by it. She said at present there is a clear perception that Guru has been hanged with political motives and Kashmir has been made a pawn in the electoral politics. This, she said has added to feeling of alienation and is the antithesis of what is universally acknowledged as spirit of nationhood.
The PDP president said the Guru execution comes in the background of thousands of unmarked graves, cold blooded killings by state on street and in fake encounters, custodial deaths and unresolved disappearances. Investigation in all these cases has either not been taken up at all or is stonewalled on one pretext or the other, she said. “The roots of alienation lie in this application of double standards and unless it is addressed with boldness and an open mind it would be difficult to resolve Kashmir through selective application of law and that too in distinctly unholy manner as in case of Guru” she added.
Mehbooba said while the people of the state repeatedly tried to join the democratic process, the government has been unable to rise above its security paranoia, as if Kashmir joined India only to be treated as a permanent security proposition with no other needs except the soldier and his gun. She said while those who betrayed the trust of Kashmir and rest of the country repeatedly are foisted on the state through dubious means, the people are at the receiving end of a harsh regime whose focus is on silencing the people at any cost.
Reiterating her party’s demand for the return of Afzal’s body to his family, Mehbooba said it was painful to hear the home minster of the country offering ‘to consider their request to visit his grave’. After denying the family their inalienable right to a last meeting and the body of Afzal it looks bizarre to produce a post office receipt as evidence when the whole world had known how the execution had been carried out stealthily, she said. The episode she said has created a large hole in the already considerable trust deficit between the state and rest of the country, which she hoped would be realised by the national leadership in order to apply a course correction in its approach to J&K.
Mehbooba said the inability of the state government to intercede in a case which everybody believed was a fit case for commutation could once again squeeze the space for entire mainstream. She said whatever credibility had been built post 2002 through a string of successful confidence measures seem to have lost relevance by the obvious collaboration of the state government in Afzal execution. “Whatever the lame duck explanations of Omar Abdullah and his attempt at looking like a victim incalculable damage has been done to his credibility as an elected chief minister. While he already had lost much of it in the past four years this time he could drag down the entire political spectrum with him.” Mehbooba said.
Demanding that the curfew be lifted immediately from entire Kashmir, Mehbooba said Kashmir alone has the dubious distinction of facing mass imprisonment anywhere in the country. She said some daily wage earners were on the verge of starvation while the level of provision availability was depleting. She said the martial law type restrictions are unknown to all parts of the Country including the Naxalites infested areas and urged complete lifting of news black out. “Does this government feel by banning newspapers, cable TV, Internet nobody would know of the hanging of Afzal Guru?” She said unfortunately it has already taken its psychological toll on a shocked population and with the tyrannical approach of this government it could only become more severe. “This government has proved beyond doubt that it is only a facilitator in inflicting injustice on the people and is concerned only in the personal luxuries of its members” Mehbooba said.
Condoling the loss of life in the fresh bout of government excesses, Mehbooba said it was an index of fear and scare among the people, especially the youth that they preferred jumping to death than facing the government forces. She said the two boys, Tariq and Zameer of Batwena Ganderbal were only the latest in many such cases in which the young men had preferred a more dangerous option of jumping in river than the prospect of arrest by the police, something that made a martyr out of a reformed Afzal Guru. She also consoled the death of teenager Ubaid of Watrgam who had been killed in shooting by the forces.
Mehbooba condemned the firing incident at Sheeri Baramulla in which reportedly three persons were injured. She said this incident highlights once again the callous attitude of this government that is drunk on power. She said about a hundred persons have been injured in uncontrolled use of force against peaceful protestors even though the people had remained calm in spite of a grave provocation.
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