Kashmir has immense talent. Our Valley has not only given birth to some quality civil servants and academicians but has also produced world class players like Parveez Rasool. Sadly, the unending war has robbed us of some great talent. We have lost our Newton and Gavaskar but at least their families have the consolation of burying their sons. On the other hand, there are still thousands of families who are still hoping that some day their disappeared sons will return. Countless mothers are still waiting for someone to bring them news of their sons. There are still thousands of unmarked graves and no one knows how many sons of the valley lie murdered in them. The oppressor has already spilled blood of thousands and yet its lust for blood remains unquenched.
As per survey reports of various human rights organizations, over one lakh youth have lost their lives so far and this number doesnt even include the disappeared youth or those killed in custodial killings. Amnesty international has also reported about the gross human rights violation happening in Kashmir. Laws like AFSPA not only give immunity to the forces but also give them free reins to kill and torture the people of the valley. A democratic nation grants its citizens the right to protest and voice their dissent but in Kashmir, protesters are fired at indiscriminately. Yet our valley is said to be an integral part of the same democratic nation.
When Haryana was boiling over the issue of Jat reservation and the people vandalized government property worth crores there, the authorities didnt retaliate by firing indiscriminately on the protestors. Huge losses were also reported during the issue of Patel’s reservation in Gujarat yet, the authorities never resorted to any violence to control the mob. The aggression and violence with which Kashmiris protestors are dealt is highly condemnable. Even those who hold an unbiased view of our nation are questioning this attitude of the people at the helm of the affairs, towards Kashmiris.
Eversince the beginning of the freedom struggle, Kashmiris have been never been treated the same way as the rest of the people of the country. Often students studying outside the valley are targeted and beaten only because they are Kashmiris. More than often the guilty in these cases walk away free because the officials are hand in glove with them and the welfare of Kashmiris is hardly of any concern to them. Indian authorities need to understand that violence and oppression never yield any positive results. They only work to escalate the resentment and rivalry. It seems that India wants Kashmir but not the Kashmiris. The centre should realise that their dictatorial regimes will only alienate the people of Kashmir further. The situation has turn edeven worse than the before now. Initially the frequent visits of the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendar Modi to Kashmir, made the people of the valley hopefully that ache din were truly here. Sadly his promises proved to be as hollow as his predecessors. Nothing has changed on the ground and the ongoing bloodbath in valley still continues.
The so called abhin angh of India is bleeding and yet the entire national media is silent on the issue. They are more concerned about name changes than cold blooded murders. If Kashmir is an integral part of India, then why is it treated so differently? Why is there such a huge deployment of paramilitary forces? Why are the people of this region subjected to so many atrocities? Why is Internet, a fundamental right in todays world, still banned here every now and then? Every time a political leader visits the valley, why are our mobile services banned?
Apart from a few north eastern states and Kashmir, no Indian state has draconian laws like AFSPA. History shows that no other state has been subjected to such a level of suppression as Kashmir. According to Asian Watch Report, there are 12 torture centres in the valley managed by different paramilitary forces. According to a study by the Médecins Sans Frontières, women in Kashmir have suffered enormously since the advent of conflict. Like the women in other conflict zones, Kashmiri women have been raped, tortured, maimed and killed. A few of them have even been jailed for years. Kashmiri women are among the worst sufferers of sexual violence in the world. As per a report, sexual violence has been routinely perpetrated on Kashmiri women, with 11.6% of respondents saying they have been victims of sexual abuse. A state human rights commission inquiry confirmed that there are thousands of bullet-ridden bodies buried in various unmarked graves in Jammu and Kashmir. Of the 2730 bodies uncovered in 4 of the 14 districts, 574 bodies were identified as missing locals. This finding is in stark contrast the Indian governments insistence that all the graves belong to foreign militants.
In their 1994 report, Human Rights Watch, described summary executions of detainees as a “hallmark” of counter-insurgency operations by Indian security forces in Kashmir. The report further stated that such extrajudicial killings were often administered within hours of arrest, and were carried out, not as aberrations but as a “matter of policy. In another report published by Amnesty International in 1995, it was stated that hundreds of civilians had been reported to be killed in encounters or cross fires. A US state department report in 2010cited extrajudicial killings by the security forces in areas of conflict such as Kashmir as a major human rights problem in India.
To rub salt on our wounds, our national media labels our genuine protests over these human rights violation as elaborate plans to malign the brave soldiers of the soil. The cycle of killings has started once again. The resentment among the people is growing. In such a situation the government needs to tread very carefully. The authorities need to understand that emotions are running very high. Violence and oppression will only serve to aggravate the situation further. It is time the government changed their tactics of dealing with Kashmiris. It is time they started treating us like human beings.
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