Our Spring Blooms With The Dead

kashmir shopian killing

Another year started with gory scenes when Kashmir is engulfed with deadly silence, with tangled concertina wires blocking maximum towns of South Kashmir and parts of Srinagar city. Nervy Indian troops occupying lanes and bi-lanes. The only voices you can hear are from police gypsies, armored vehicles and the sirens of ambulances.

This year the uprising started with Killing on 13 armed Rebels and four civilians from the two towns of the south Kashmir. In the night between 31st March and 1st April, Three encounters started in south Kashmir. 2 in Shopian villages called Kachdoor and Dragad and another one at Dialgam Anantnag. People woke up with barred internet in south Kashmir which always gives you the indication of something wrong to have happened. Internet becomes the first causality when Indian troops start any anti militancy operation to avoid stone pelting and protests near encounter sites. The whole population switched on their Television Sets and once they got the news about multiple encounters they started ringing telephones to friends and relatives from the particular areas. Panic and Restlessness increased when some Indiannews channels updated that commanders Sadam Paddar and Zeenat ul Islam have been trapped. Soon youth from North, South, and Central Kashmir came out on the roads protesting, stone throwing and simultaneously praying for the trapped rebels to escape safe.

The mornings often begin withencounters and more unarmed protesters are killed somewhere in Kashmir. More and more youth joining armed resistance. The children of the conflict fight the Indian soldiers with stones, guns and record their memory on Social Networking Sites both to mobilize people within Kashmir and to communicate with the outside world. They are delving deep in the archaeology of their political history to establish connections with the past and build an archive of their memory for the future.

This mass mobilisation has worked for Kashmiri youth in both the ways. In 2016 uprising people through-out the world in general and many among the Indian political class in particular.Who have recently started expressing outrage at the killings of unarmed Kashmiris. But within the minds of people in Kashmir who fight the Indian forces in Kashmir day in and day out, Reason: they think their future is discordant with India. In a small population of 13 million approx ruled by 7 lac Indian Forces, who have killed tens of thousands of civilians in a span of 3 decades, stories of torture are common and the Indian Soldiers are protected by impunity laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The law encourages soldiers to kill any person “suspected’ of a committing an offense, to search homes without a warrant and to destroy buildings suspected of harbouring militants. Soldiers accused of human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings and rape cannot be prosecuted unless the federal government grants permission, of which not a single instance exists despite hundreds of petitions.

Three decades of military crackdown have changed Kashmir into a power barrel of scary memories. Whole population has gone through a collective punishment whenever they rise in a protest.

The protest started on recent encounter site met with ruthless response from Indian Security forces, who again fired 100’s of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving atleast 5 dead and 100’s injured from past four days. According to the doctors at least 20 to 30 people are fearing vision loss who are hit by pellets from past 4 days.

As per a report published by local news organization The Kashmiriyat, 58 armed rebels and 18 civilians killed so far this year by Indian forces in anti-militancy operations launched by them. These stats again raise the same question. If this is the way to deal with Kashmiri population then the issue of Kashmir will never settle down. Kashmir will keep burning. No matter how many interlocutors you recruit, no matter how many back channel dialogues you start.

There is no doubt in that armed rebels have huge support in Kashmir, anyone who fights with Indian forces share a huge sympathy among the population. Every time incidents of killings happenwe witness how the population sides with armed rebels other than the Indian forces.

Indian State and intelligentsia should stop preaching the narrative of Kashmir issue being a mere law and order problem. They should rise above their personal political ambitions to solve this long pending political issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

Recognizing it as a political dispute is the only way out for a concrete solution for all the stake holders.

What is unfortunate is that the killings in Kashmir are being celebrated in India. The narrative being set by few Indian national news channels against Kashmiris is dangerous. If this remained unchecked and un addressed it may result a civil war. These laboratories of hatred have already declared war against Kashmiri population.

Most of the channels are operating on assumptions and world view appear to be premised on either. That is, they appear to operate in a make believe, airy fairy world.

Statements, interviews, tweets from influential people are being twisted and then debates generated over the same. An army of ‘experts’ willingly oblige and make fool of Indian population and of themselves also.

The media should never be painted with the colors of ethnicity, religion, gender or grouds of race. They should promote the cause of humanity. They should advocate the people’s voice. However, the dismal and abysmal level of debate generated by some major media houses on the Kashmir tragedy appears to have done the converse.

Rayees Rasool is a Human Rights Defender

email: [email protected]



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