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Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 45, October 30, 2010

Life, Dignity of Kashmiris have Lost Meaning


Saturday 30 October 2010


by Zafar Meraj

There seems to be no end to the vicious plan of what can easily be termed as selected killings of Kashmiri youth in the most brutal manner. Notwithstanding the tall daims made by the rulers both in Srinagar and New Delhi, a systematic killing spree by the butchers in khaki continues across the Valley.

This leaves little doubt that all this is part of a well-thought-out plan to crush the Kashmiri, to be more specific the Kashmiri Muslim, to an extent that he dare not open his mouth, not to speak of raising his voice and demanding the rights that have been denied to him in brazen violation of the promises made to him by tallest of the tall Indian leaders. Otherwise, how is it possible that the mighty government of Omar Abdullah enjoying the full backing of New Delhi is not able to put an end to the cycle of killings?

More than 70 killings, in just less than three months, is a sort of record that has never been witnessed in the recent history of Kashmir nor is it expected to be achieved by any other ruler in the near future. And look at the pattern of these killings, rather broad daylight murders, committed with impunity by the so-called security forces almost daily.

Doesn’t it look like part of a well-thought-out plan?

Out of the 70 killings that have taken place so far, almost 65 happen to be teenaged youth, all school-going children, and a majority of those who were silenced by the bloodthirsty marauders, had been killed for no fault of theirs. They were never part of the protest demons-trations; they were not part of those much-maligned stone-throwers who seem to have shaken the very basis of the almighty and powerful Indian state as a whole. Wamiq Farooq and Tufail Matoo were on their way to their homes from their tuition and their bags full of books and notebooks they were carrying along stood witness to their innocence. The three youth brutally murdered in Anantnag last month were running for the safety of their homes when they were caught by the killers just outside their house and shot dead in full view of their stunned family members.

And just the last victim of this naked state terrorism, 17-year-old Showkat Ahmad Malik, who police wants us to believe was throwing stones on the caravan of a senior police officer, was in fact on way to the market to fetch some chicken and vegetables for the Shab-e-Qader dinner.

FOR quite sometime now we have been listening to loud statements of the ruling clique, in Kashmir and New Delhi, about the so-called human face of the establishment. We are told that non-lethal weapons are being pressed into service to avoid fatalities while dealing with the protestors, we are told that the men in khaki have been advised to exhibit restraint and that the misleading slogan of ‘zero tolerance’ is repeatedly raised to make fools of us.

And now we are being told that very soon the dreaded AFSPA would be either withdrawn or made humane to put a check on the grave excesses committed by the troopers in the name of fighting the proxy war in Kashmir.

But going by the rein of terror that has been let loose by the armed wings of the establishment for the last three months now, going by the increasing number of civilian killings, going by the manner in which cops have been targeting the innocent youth and going by the manner in which the killer cops are taken care of and even encouraged and patronised, is anyone in Kashmir going to trust the ruling clique?

The set-up we have in Kashmir already stood devoid of any image and credibility among the people and the way New Delhi has been patro-nising and supporting the killers of Kashmiris, completely refusing to listen to the harsh realities, even the otherwise clean image of the Prime Minister has received a severe beating. Ordinary souls in Kashmir, much against their liking, have been forced to conclude that their life, their dignity, their honour, nothing has any value for New Delhi. Instead it is a particular family for whose protection and promotion Delhi is going to sacrifice the entire Kashmiri populace. And that is what we are witnessing every day. Otherwise is it that difficult for any government, howsoever weak and fragile that might be, to rein in its subordinates who run amuck and have been running around like greedy wolves, pouncing upon anything that comes in their way?

The author, a veteran journalist of Srinagar, miraculously survived a murderous assault on his life by “sarkari militants” hired by the state sometime ago.

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