Dreaming Normalcy

September 27, 2016 EDITORIAL 383 Views
Dreaming Normalcy

Resistance leadership led by senior Hurriyat leader and chairman Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani has given a reason to the observers to believe that restive Kashmir was acting on his fingertips. While on one side government has failed to uphold the democratic values in the State, the government forces have gone berserk across the valley. Innocent youngsters are being killed and maimed by the pellets and other lethal weapons. Human rights violations have crossed all the limits and boundaries across restive Kashmir valley. Kashmir has been at the focal point of human rights observers for a long time now. Despite New Delhi’s repeated claims and assurances to stop human rights violations in Kashmir, there has been no decisive action or policy to curb the violations. The draconian and controversial law like AFSPA, which gives complete immunity to armed forces in Kashmir to take extreme action including to arrest, to torture and even to kill a person on mere suspicion and get away with it, is still in practice with successive governments vetoing its withdrawal and revocation. Three restive years – 2008, 2010 and now 2016, have been marked with brazen human violations in Kashmir in which hundreds of unarmed protestors/civilians have been fired upon and killed, and thousands injured in armed forces action. The government can chose to silence the whole population but they cannot kill the sentiments from the hearts and minds of the people of Kashmir. The knee-jerk response of New Delhi has been the articulation of two phrases – Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) and Maximum Restraint. While the SOPs and MRs have been repeatedly brushed aside by the forces, New Delhi has been turning a blind eye to all petitions and requests demanding the accountability of armed forces in Kashmir. Earlier, to cool tempers the state government before taking the reins from previous government promised that there will be a review of AFSPA. The procedure according to what was promised by the government was “examining the need for de-notifying disturbed areas”. But after the formation of local government, neither New Delhi nor the state government showed any interest or tendency to examine the need. On the contrary the governments have continued to act deaf to the calls of human rights with pellets and bullets showering upon the unarmed protestors. What is more disturbing is that the governments instead of admitting the damage and go for a control mechanism have been trying to justifying the use of force that by any standard is excessive. Apparently the governments’ position on the death of 85 persons and injuries to over 12000 in the last two months is that of collateral damage. The government can’t of dream of normalcy unless and until they address the core issues. Otherwise there will be many more hot summers to come in Kashmir Valley.

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