Kashmir is over the edge after the killing of Hizb Commander Burhan Muzafar Wani by the security forces in south Kashmir on July 8. The current unrest has already claimed more than 95 lives and hundreds have been maimed for life. History bears witness that whenever the people of valley have tried to exercise their democratic rights, they have been rewarded with bullets. Every time an innocent is killed in Kashmir, the politicians issue a press statement stating how grieved they are over the loss of life and then an impartial probe is ordered into the killing but we all know the outcome of such probes. During the 2010 uprising, Omar Abdullah too had ordered numerous probes but the culprits are roaming free even after 6 years.
What is ironical about the present situation is that the same Mehbooba Mufti who was shouting through the roof demanding an end to the atrocities and punishment for the guilty during the 2010 uprising is following into his very footsteps. The only thing that has changed right now is that NC has taken PDP’s position of raising hollow slogans over the brutalities taking place in Kashmir.
Mehbooba instead of being true to her word, has surpassed all levels of tyranny. The Security forces instead of employing restraint, have violated all SOPs (standard operating procedures) while dealing with the protestors. The J&K Government’s claims that pellet guns are a Non-Lethal weapon seems as a cruel joke when we look at the thousands of Kashmiris lying injured across the hospitals in Kashmir. A study conducted by a team of doctors during the 2010 unrest compared the pellets to real bullets. “Pellet victims should be evaluated and managed in the same way as those who sustain bullet injuries”, the said study reveals.
Despite the promise of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, this clearly lethal weapon continues to be used on innocent Kashmiris who are only exercising their democratic rights. Singh also said that the youth of Kashmir were being misguided and misled by certain mischief mongers. This statement of his has been widely backed by the Indian media. In fact the Indian media has unleashed a war of its own on the people of Kashmir. Instead of highlighting the atrocities taking place in Kashmir, the national media has been misleading the world about Kashmir and Kashmiris. It has been projecting Kashmiris as a radicalised lot who can only be tamed through brutal force. However what the national media has forgotten is that Kashmiris have on several occasions proven that they too want peace and are only fighting to be able to live their life in dignity.
On last Friday of Ramadan, Hurriyat conference (M) chairman Dr Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said to the congregation, “All of us will welcome back our Pandit brothers whole heartedly.” Also what most of the Indian media and the people fail to see is that none of the Indian tourists or the visiting Yatris have been hurt or attacked in Kashmir. No doubt there is anger in Kashmir but this anger is against the police, the army and over the injustice happening in the valley, not against the common and innocent citizens of India. Some journalists of Indian media are also accusing the pro-freedom leadership of having a frozen and a stale mindset. But how do they think it is possible for us to trust the same dialogue process when such dialogue processes in the past have only proven to be mere processes of hoodwinking the people of Kashmir and exploiting them. Need I remind these journalists that Hurriyat was the first to welcome Modi-Nawaz meet. The separatists have always maintained that dialogue is the only way forward but all they are asking is that Kashmiris should not be made fools in name of dialogue. Dialogue needs to be credible for it to be fruitful.
Such is the law in Kashmir that we aren’t even allowed to grieve for our loved ones. We have been caged in our homes for more than two months now. Our internet and cellular networks have been snapped. We aren’t even allowed to cry for our departed properly. It is time the government starts treating us as humans.
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