Normalcy in Quagmire

November 22, 2016 0 Comments EDITORIAL 208 Views
Normalcy in Quagmire

After two days of business on the weekend, life in Kashmir was affected again as the business establishments, schools and colleges remained closed on the call of the unified separatist leadership. Again the impact of strike was visible in every part of the Valley. The police and paramilitary personnel were deployed in strength in sensitive areas of Srinagar and other parts of the Valley to maintain “law” and “order” and foil anti-India protests. Kashmir has been witnessing unrest and shutdown after killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. At least 94 people have been killed, more than 13,000 injured and over 8000 arrested in the Valley during last over four months of unrest. The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation, are giving weekly protest and shutdown calendars since July 9.
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. However the government has failed on all the grounds to restore normal life across Kashmir valley. 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.

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