….and the killings continue

What of the World Human Rights Day celebrated at SKICC just this month.Three killings within eight days after the World Human Rights Day was celebrated, are ample proof to understand how well has gone the message of statecraft from the seminar on Human Rights in SKICC. From 10th December till 19th December within a span of eight days three painful incidents took place in Kashmir resulting in death of Mysara Jan, Asif Iqbal and Ruby Jan. In all the three terrible incidents security forces after failing to justify their misuse of power, were left with no options but to lie and accuse those who lost their lives. It is strange that in Kashmir not only militants but the civilians including women and children when get bullets and lose their lives are on and often held responsible for their own deaths. The traditional condemnations, strike calls, protest march, and fake inquiries as usual may yield nothing for the lack of sincerity and accountability.

While army and police always claim following standard operational procedures during anti-militancy operations, the facts are far away from the reality. One may not find a single instance where army or police would have taken permission from an Executive Magistrate, as desired by law, to use force against the unarmed civilians. Many objected to my statement calling district Magistrates and other executive Magistrates as Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of Station House Officers (SHOs). Believe it, the comment was not passed with any bad intention or in bad faith but the evidences and circumstances have proved that the professional capabilities of bureaucrats, especially Deputy Commissioners have got paralyzed as security agencies believe every Kashmiri including these Magistrates have to be there sub-servants.

The way security agencies have been misleading and blackmailing people from Delhi to Srinagar has forced not only the civil administration but the political establishment to work and live like parasites. One cannot ignore the hardships of security agencies especially when they operate in an atmosphere where masses treat militants as their heroes and men in uniform as their enemies, but that cannot be anyway the justification for not sparing even the women folk. The Deputy Commissioners being in control of the entire district could always persuade and compel security forces to respect the rights, honour and dignity of masses. The excuse of helplessness, for the reason security forces enjoy limitless powers including those under AFSPA does not hold good as despite being like a dirty book, AFSPA doesn’t debar from making security forces accountable. However a weak political establishment which often dances at the tunes of security forces and tries to remain thankful more to men in uniform than to Allah, gives both civil and police administration a full time opportunity to do things of their will at timing of their choice. The tragedy has been that not only every misdeed is being given legal and administrative cover but those who dare to tell spade a spade are cornered by the state institutions one way or the other. Had the district magistrates used their power and wisdom, they could have bulldozed misuse of PSA, but with few rare exceptions they have proven like rubber stamps of police.

The divided main stream has proved disaster as the public servants have turned autocrats and the weak main stream politicians have been confined just to their perks, privileges and a very minor administrative role. Everyone has been made to believe that boss is always right and nobody even thinks of questioning the worst he may be a witness to, himself. It becomes laughable when the largest opposition party NC condemns violence as people take just a second to ask why is NC doing the same what PDP used to do when Kashmiris would get butchered in Farooq Abdullah’s and Omer Abdullah’s regimes. The traditional and irresponsible politics has minimized the scope of anyone who may mean business and do things with sincerity as to Kashmiris every politician now seems to be like representing New Delhi’s agenda and doing things for power politics. The politics of deception, traditionalism and appeasement may serve the interests of NC and PDP but it makes the job of selfless people a Himalayan task, and also keeps the circus of death and destruction alive round the clock.