Kashmir has become a police state where political dissent and modes of peaceful demonstrations, otherwise constitutional accorded right of every citizen, are no more existing. If any such democratic largesse exists it is for pro-Indian political groups. That makes it a ‘family affair’ where colonial power plants stooges and showcases them as ‘peoples’s representatives’. And lo and behold , these ‘representatives’ cannot fight elections unless all the pro-resistance groups, in particular, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, are not restricted from running a counter anti-election campaign and put behind the bars or their homes converted into sub jails.
With youth fully committed with the freedom struggle and emotionally, mentally and physically alienated from Darbar, the police on the directions of Omer-led government-which has pawned its conscience to Delhi for just staying in power-has let loose a reign of terror. They have invented dubious means to break the resolve of the youth. Already we know how fake militant groups were created by ‘Khaki Robinhoods’ only to kill the youth and in return get out of turn promotions, gallantry awards and money.
Stone pelting is not specific to Kashmiri youth, nor is it a latest manifestation of anger against police and paramilitary forces. Since days plebiscite was launched by the NC and even before that, stones and bricks were used as tools to spew hate and anger against bullets and arrogance of the colonial Darbar. In fact even today in India, stones, bricks, iron bars come handy to the youth when they confront police and troops. But never we see the family members of the youth there are harassed, humiliated and threatened. Never the future of the youth is spoiled, nor they are slapped with PSA’s like black laws or forced to become police agents. Here, in contrast blackest of black things happen. Every youth in Kashmir who stages a protest on the streets of valley against the human rights violations has a story to narrate to show the imperialistic behind the democratic veil.
Waqar Ahamd Moharkan, a science graduate hailing from Srinagar was released on July 8 last year after 277 days of imprisonment. His release followed a sustained online campaign by his well wishers. As he tried to settle down and contribute his bit to help his father, police started persecuting him. In an interview with Kashmir Reader, July 28, 2013, Waqar accused police that only ‘after he refused to take up the job offer of acting as a police agent’, he was subjected to atrocities. He had to go in hiding and abandon his home. To mount pressure the police started harassing and humiliating his family members. His father is a heart patient who suffered a stroke when Waqar was arrested in 2011. Waqar said, ‘A senior police officer has threatened my father of devastating his life if he fails to produce me before him.’
Waqar ridiculed police claim that youth get money for pelting stones. Who can risk his life for a few hundred rupees? Who can wish he be slapped with PSA and his home devastated, he be imprisoned and his life, his academic career spoiled? The claim is nothing but a canard.
Waqar has asked why police, who has unbridled powers for oppressing innocent people, doesn’t arrest BSF personnel who murdered 4 civilians in Gool in cold blood two weeks before.
The youth here are feeling besieged on all sides. They are finding, as Waqar’s case shows, the option of having their genuine aspirations expressed in a peaceful democratic manner getting squeezed. This will have dangerous implications for entire South Asia.