Over the past twenty four hours, two more youth have been killed in the continuing unrest in the state, a fact that once again puts the state government in the dock. For, it proves yet again how the government forces feel free to kill and blind their way through the ongoing strife which began following the killing of Burhan Wani on June 8. It bears repetition here that around 57 people have so far lost their lives. More than a hundred stare at a partial or complete loss of their vision. And another fifty look set to be maimed for the rest of their lives. But despite this massive humanitarian fallout, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t have a word of empathy for the people of the state in his monthly Mann ki Baat.
Among the latest two persons killed, one Farooq Ahmad Kuchay was shot dead by the guard of the Assistant Development Commissioner Babu Ram when his vehicle was stopped by a crowd protesting against the police assault on worshippers at a local mosque. Several others also received bullet injuries and among them one Sohail Ahmad Wani is critical and battling for his life at Medical Institute Soura. This infuriated the people in the area, who protested the wanton killing. The protesters placed the body of Farooq Ahmad on the road till late into the night and demanded that the officer and his guards be arrested.
Another youth, an ATM guard Riyaz Ahmad Shah was killed near SMHS hospital, in mysterious circumstances. However, there is now no doubt as to the identity of the killers. An autopsy on Shah revealed that he had received a burst of pellets in his stomach.
The two killings reveal the grim state of affairs prevailing in Valley. And as the mounting toll makes it clear, the government is squarely responsible for the worsening situation. It can hardly blame anybody but itself. The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has turned out to be singularly unequal to the task of handling the situation. What is more, her utterances much like the television anchors in New Delhi have only inflamed the public anger. She has made some disingenuous, propagandistic statements which have sought to put the blame on everybody but her government. As if the slaughter that took place is actually nobody’s fault, least of all her own.
And if at all anybody is to blame, it is the separatist groups and Pakistan – the actors who, however they may wish to take the credit for the current uprising, had nothing to do with how it began. Similarly, her ministers have taken a cowardly refuge in power. Some of these men were once on this side of the fence and charging the state and the central governments for the wrongs, they now themselves smugly preside over and with more apathy and callousness. This kind of attitude on the part of mainstream politicians is causing a serious breakdown of confidence in the pro-establishment leadership, that will be difficult to repair for generations to come. It is still time that PDP steps up to the occasion and sides with people than with the power.
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