Known Deaths By Unknown Gunmen Of Kashmir

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People offer funeral prayers of Babar Qadri- KO Photo: Abid Bhat

THE gruesome murder of Mr. Babar Qadri, a 40 year old man, has kindled the painful pain that still sends chills through our bodies when Kashmir lost a dedicated professional and a fearless individual, Mr. Shujaat Bukahri, two years ago.

Unfortunately, the term “unknown gunman” is colloquial in Kashmir. It hides the frequency and realm of agonizing pain, suffering, and numbness that Kashmir has witnessed over the years especially after the start of the armed struggle.

Qadri was assassinated within the precincts of his home. That tells us everything about life and living in Kashmir; danger here may be with you, near you, and always around you.

Qadri was well aware about the danger to his life, and had witnessed, studied, and ultimately faced the ugly reality of how fearless voices in Kashmir have had to face a sudden throttled death. It is yet another example that clearly demonstrates the uncanny-scenes-of-living-hell-in-Kashmir

The question that haunts everyone in Kashmir is the mystification around the term “unknown” in a region where surveillance allows no secrecy.

This new incident of death is part of the vicious assassination cycle that had started when Kashmir became the part of political problem between India and Pakistan in 1947. The conflict has consolidated its dreadful roots, and instead of reaching to a solution it has penetrated deeper.

Humanity is witness to all episodes of historical and political realities of Kashmir, yet, steps from the global leaders and community have remained half-baked and inconsequential. If principles of human rights and justice were truly valued in the world, ideally, Kashmir conflict would have been resolved decades ago.

Mere condemnations will not help Kashmiris. Firm, strategic and honest steps need to be taken to bring to Kashmir long lasting peace.

Afroz Shah

afroz.shah@gmail.com

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Dr Afroz Ahmad Shah

Author is Assistant Professor in Structural Geology, Physical & Geological Sciences at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam. He can be reached at: afroz.shah@ubd.edu.bn

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