Your India…Our Kashmir
By Rayees Rasool
24 April, 2015
The 7th day of April, 20 alleged smugglers mostly Tamils were gunned down by the Red Sanders Anti-smuggling Task Force personnel of Andhra Pradesh in the Seshachala forest area in Tirupati. This evoked widespread political and social outrage in Tamil Nadu cutting across sections. And on the same day Telangana Police gunned down alleged terrorists in police custody. Both the incidents evoked condemnations from the Indian democratic and rights groups. Pertinently, Both the events were very regrettable, every sane person will condemn such atrocious behaviour.
Delhi witnessed a sequence of protests against these killings. Students, Activists, Lawyers joined hands in protest and I, a Kashmiri also joined one of the protests at Andhra Bhawan. I was standing shoulder to shoulder with my Indian Friends and I stood with them on every injustice done by state to any person. I still carry the same views that there should be independent enquiry and all the police officials involved should be booked according to the Indian Laws. They may or may not be ‘smugglers’ or ‘terrorists’ but you cannot kill them the way they were murdered.
India is a huge country with gigantic populace. Every now and then people protest for their rights. And rightly so. If you claim to be world’s largest democracy you need to protect your citizen not to kill them. You need to make their houses, not bulldoze them. You need to make children of poor educated not beggars. You need to provide shelter to the slum dwellers not leave them homeless to construct a prestigious mall.
There are countless movements going on in India. People are resisting for their identities and rights. I know how it feels when the state uses force against you. I am a witness to the pain of torture, fake encounter, and extra judicial killings. I dwell a place where world’s largest democracy has held 12 Million people as hostages on gun point.
We witness these things every day. Torture, rapes, killings, disappearances, fake encounters and what not. But, despite being very active over human abuses in the farthest nooks, Indian civil society keeps their status quo over the human rights violations in Kashmir.
Just after a week on 14th April after the Andhra Killings, a young boy was murdered in torture by Indian Army in Tral a village in District Pulwama of south Kashmir. After killing him in custody with gun butts, sticks and boots Indian Army dubbed him as a Militant and said he died in cross firing in an encounter. Khalid was buried without any autopsy. The torture marks were very much visible in the body; his father spoke to the press and said there was not even a single bullet in his Son’s body. Despite this, the silence of the Graveyard!
And as always, all the rights activists and human rights lawyers kept mum. Nobody even uttered a single word because it would have been against their national interest. Every Killing in Kashmir wouldn’t be even condemned as it will question your patriotism in Indian and then the media trial. During my work in Delhi from last one year I have made very good friends who have varied opinions on Kashmir, a few support the right to self determination while others keep their status quo on it.
Just a few days after Khalid’s murder in Tral, one 16 year old Young boy, Suhail got murdered by Indian Police when one ASI asked him to run and ordered his constable to shoot that school going boy. And the criminal silence continues from the champions of Human Rights.
One thing which is evident from my experience is that you cannot get Justice from Indian Courts even if it is a civil matter. The approach of Indian Judicial System in Kashmir related to all the matters is worst. We filed a petition during September 2014 floods for effective relief and rehabilitation for the victims of flood. Since that day we failed to get an effective and concrete order which would have helped victims and had mattered most.
In the conflict zones, women are the soft targets to any kind of violation and same we witnessed in Kashmir Kunan Poshpora, Saed Boni, Brah, kanganhall, Akingam, Shopian double rape and murder, there are thousands of such cases where Indian Security agencies used Rape as a war weapon. On the one hand the Indian Society goes up in the arms for December 2013 infamous rape case in Delhi, and we witnessed people from all walks of life protesting against rapists and demanding capital punishment. Journalists, doctors, lawyers, activists along with a large number of students protested. And the same Indian Society which claims Kashmir as a crown of their country keeps the dead silence over the rapes committed by Indian Security forces.
The sense of alienation prevails here, there and everywhere amongst Kashmiris.
Rayees Rasool is a political writer Activist
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