Major Avtar Singh Gill, the army officer wanted in Jaleel Andrabi’s murder case met his nemesis . Some call it a poetic justice while others would have liked him to get justice under the normal law because that would have witnessed the truth in action..
The facts associated with his crime are fully in public domain now. When his crime was established by Special investigation team (SIT) formed by Police, he was clandestinely transferred to the Ludhiana Unit of the Territorial Army. After a great dilly dallying tactics, the Police & Army accepted his presence in Ludhiana .Meanwhile he obtained a passport and left for Canada and fled the State with the active connivance of concerned authorities. From there he is believed to have entered the United States of America
Kashmir has never been a stranger to horrible human rights violations. The torture & atrocities on them have been committed by rulers of all hues. Be they Pandavas, Maurays, Khushan, Gonandya to Loharas, Muslim Afghanis, Sikhs, Hindu Dogras, all have brought forth a level of bloodshed, cruelty & torture rarely witnessed in human history. The modern democratic Country, as India Claims itself, has gone a step ahead. It has not only killed common & ordinary citizens but also those intellectuals & human rights defenders who protested these killings in a dignified & democratic way. Dr. Abdul Ahad Guroo, Dr. Farooq Ashai & Jaleel Andrabi are clear instances in this regard. In that respect it has treated kashmiris not as subjects but objects dispensable at will.
Several years ago Prof Eric Hobsbawm cautioned us about the revival of barbarism in the 20th-century West and its spread to the rest of the world. It denotes “the reversal of what we may call the project of the 18th-century Enlightenment, namely the establishment of a universal system of such rules and standards of moral behavior, embodied in the institutions of states dedicated to the rational progress of humanity: to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, to Equality, Liberty and Fraternity or whatever.
Seen in the light of this observation, India’s tryst with its intellectually shored up & institutionally supported barbarism offers a proof. Indian ruling class which includes executive & judiciary are ideal democrats & justice loving in New Delhi but callously authoritarian & tyrrants in Kashmir. Looking in the context of Jaleel Andrabi’s murder an entire system appears to have the tacit blessing of the state in promoting a barbarous policy. The institutions meant to safeguard the democratic structure of the country seem to have been subverted to promote a dirty” National policy” meant to victimize kashmiri Muslims. we find that firstly Avtar Singh’s transfer to another unit Punjab was made possible by the Army which means that his crime was fully known in the higher echelons. A Judge of High Court who ordered arrest & impounding of Avtar Singh’s passport was immediately transferred thereafter. Since transfer of High Court Judges is effected at the highest executive level after consulting chief Justice of Honb’le Supreme Court, it stands to reason that the judiciary at highest level was either misinformed or ————–(I would prefer discretion over valor & leave the space blank). .A passport was arranged (or not impounded) for the accused to flee the Country which means that Ministry of external affairs was also involved. Similarly immigration authorities must have been sounded to let Avtar Singh go without hindrance. And finally the role of Home Ministry which did not pursue the matter of extradition of Avtar Singh from America . The whole sequence of events points to involvement of whole system designed to flash only & only one message – That a Kashmiri Muslim can be browbeaten, maimed or killed depending upon the exigency of perceived National interest at any given point of time and his tormentors need not necessarily be brought to book.
Another unfortunate aspect of the sordid drama is the attitude of Indian media. When Kashmiris wailed & wept over the innocent killings, Indian media would routinely label it as a disinformation campaign to malign Indian Army. They stuck with the pro-government line and distanced themselves from reporting the actual facts of the military campaign being carried out by Indian troops with 700,000 soldiers deployed in the disputed territory – This behavior is puzzling, since the same media is likely to go berserk, drumming up jingoistic passions and talking of the territorial integrity of India, at any prospect of punishing the guilty. It’s high time at least that the international press take a deep look at the disputed territory, where protracted war by the state on its people continues unabated, mainly due to the absence of a responsible mainstream media in India.
As on date the position is that None in India condemns the massacre of Kashmir Muslims. That is the collective crime of Indian nation.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at email@example.com)