Slipping Ground

September 18, 2018 EDITORIAL 100 Views
Slipping Ground

Amid the talk of elections, the situation seems to be going from bad to worse. Underlining the deteriorating security situation in Jammu and Kashmir where municipal and Panchayat elections are going to be held from next month amid heightened security measures, a former commander of the state-backed militia Ikhwan, who was serving in the Territorial Army, was shot dead by suspected militants in the volatile south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Family members of the slain identified as Mukhtar Ahmad Malik alias Mukhtar Gola, who served in 162 battalion of Territorial Army, said a group of gunmen barged into their home in Shurat village of Kulgam and shot indiscriminately at him. The victim was taken to a hospital but doctors pronounced him dead. Although a large contingent of police and paramilitary forces cordoned off the area and searches were launched, the killers had managed to get away. Mukhtar served as a commander in Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon, a notorious state-backed militia that was used by the government to crush militancy in Kashmir. The militia was synonymous with gross human rights abuses including rape, murder and wanton loot. According to reports, Gola was linked to a number of killings of Jama’at-e-Islami activists, including two time member of legislative assembly, Abdul Razaq Mir of Buchroo village of Kulgam district. However, the manner in which he was killed can’t be justified. Even if he was involved in killings of Jama’at activists and other human rights abuses, as has been alleged by people of Kulgam, he would have faced the rule of law one way or the other. The killing once again highlights how security forces on vacations at their homes are becoming soft targets of militants. On June 14, militants abducted the 44 Rashtriya Rifles’s army man Aurangzeb, who was travelling in a private vehicle. His bullet-riddled body was later recovered from Pulwama. On November 25, 2017, unknown gunmen killed an army soldier, who was on leave, in Wothmula village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district. His bullet riddled body was found by the locals in an orchard in nearby Wothmula village. The killing came months a BSF man, Mohammad Ramzan Parrey, was shot at his home in Hajin area of Bandipora. Earlier on May 10, an Army officer identified as Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz Parry, who also hailed from Kulgam where the latest incident took place, was shot dead by militants in Shopian district. Security forces need to take extra precautions to become easy prey for militants.

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