Like a stalking predatory animal on the prowl of its prey, Delhi police pounced on Syed Liaqat Shah on March 20 last month. The hapless Kashmiri Muslim, in fifties, was separated from his family and labeled as ‘terrorist’ trained in Pakistan and assigned ‘to carry out Fidayeen attack’ in Delhi. The Delhi police, with feigned pride, claimed that in Liaqat’s arrest ‘a big disaster was averted’. He was nabbed, as Delhi police says, near Gorakhpur on way to Delhi.
Contesting the charges, Liaqat’s family says that he was returning home under JK government’s much-touted rehabilitation policy for the former militants. Under the policy the militants fed up of militancy and wanted to return home had to surrender before the JK police. Those who returned had since long given up gun and entered into conjugal life. They came with families and children. Liaqat too was returning with his wife and children.
Imagine a ‘fidayee’ who wanted to commit a dare-devil act and blow himself up. Would he embark on the adventure along with his wife and children. Would he have storm a shopping mall (as Delhi police alleged) using his wife and children as live ammunition’. In which ‘fidayeen’ attack have ‘terrorists’ used their family members or people as explosive straps.
Delhi’s trusted man Omar Abdullah too was not convinced by Delhi police’s cock and bull story. The disjointed and discordant links of the fabricated story shocked him and he screamed in the legislative assembly on 25th March in these words:
‘If a man comes to attack a shopping mall, will he come with his wife and children? I am hearing for the first time that a militant came to attack holding the hand of his wife and carrying weapons in other hand, as if going for a picnic. When militants come they carry grenades and guns in hands. Liaqat was returning with his wife and children….. It was by police that Liaqat was returning under the rehabilitation policy and they had proper information about his planned surrender’. (Greater Kashmir, 26 March, 3013)
It is in place to mention that in 2010 the state government, in consent with Delhi Darbar, announced the rehabilitation policy meant for Kashmiri youth who had crossed over to PaK in nineties for arms training but ‘due to change of hearts had given up the idea of picking up guns’ and wanted to return to live a normal life. As per the policy the youth are only allowed to return through four entry points. These are – Poonch-Rawlakote, Uri-Muzafarabad, Wagah (Punjab) and Indra Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. In addition, as Omar disclosed in the assembly, the state government has ‘selected’ the Nepal route for the return of Kashmiri youth ‘after Pakistan created hurdles in implementation of the policy’. For the last two years the Nepal route was most preferred by the youth.
After it dawned on Kashmir Chief Minister that Delhi police was not listening to his version, he approached Indian Home Ministry and asked for the NIA probe. According to Omar Home Ministry had ordered the probe.
Irrespective of the outcome of the NIA probe, the incident has once again brought in lime-light the pitiable and non-enviable position of pro-Indian Kashmir leadership. It has once again reflected that even after holding hostage their own people to Delhi Darbar’s jingoistic approach, the pro-Indian leaders and the “august” assemblies are not given a damn when it matters. Unlike Chief Ministers of Bengal, Bihar, UP, Gujarat, Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu and the voice of the legislatures there, here, as per chief minister’s own admission in Kashmir assembly (25th March), they have been whittled down to the abominable position of ‘daily wagers’ and at every moment made to feel ‘helpless’.
After all how should a pretty police cop in Delhi or elsewhere override the authority and credibility of chief minister and the legislative forums in Kashmir? How come Home Ministry zips its mouth when Delhi police brazenly skips the innocence chit Kashmir police has given to Liaqat Shah. Is not Kashmir police reliable institution? Are not pro-Indian groups loyal to Darbar? Or is loyalty to Darbar hinged to communal color only? More the Muslim Kashmiris at the receiving end, more the pats on the back of ‘peoples’ representatives’, and law-enforcing men. But where their rights as human beings need just a humane touch, eye-brows get raised in corridors of power in Delhi.
‘Daily wagers’ only go in groveling to Darbar at Delhi and register their ‘helplessness’ as did ‘our’ chief minister in Liaqat Shah’s case. That reveals the “marvel” of Indian democracy in Kashmir. It makes rulers not only politically imponent but consciously corroded as well. That is why despite reduced to laughing stock, they remain clung to power.