Tufail Matoo, the 17 year student of downtown Srinagar, reading in 12th class, was martyred on June 11, 2010 by a tear smoke shell fired directly at him by government forces when he was returning from tuition centre. 11th June 2013 was his third death anniversary. Like for 120 other blooming mercilessly murdered by paramilitary troops (CRPF) and police, during the Intifadah of 2010, justice seems too distant a dream for Tufail and his family. The wheels of justice. It seems have come to a grinding halt as they have been , it appears , jammed by the system itself. This failure in delivering justice has reinforced the popular belief that it would be unnatural to expect justice from a system that inflicts atrocities on innocent and unarmed people in Kashmir. Conversely this reflects that ‘elected’ government hinges its existence on the brute forces. Both have symbiotic association to sustain each other. This is substantiated by Matoo’s statement who alleged that the state government assigned investigation of ‘cold blooded murder’ to officials who had ‘political affiliations’ with the ruling parties. ‘Police are doing all this for petty privileges like promotions and awards to please the ruling parties’, he further elaborated.
When a system itself puts a spoke in the wheels of justice could victims of state terror get justice in such a situation. This is how father of Tufail Matoo, Muhammad Ashraf vents his dissatisfaction and disappointment. ‘Killer are moving free. The family is being threatened to keep quiet and not ask for justice… Many times the government tried to hush up the case by approaching us through different channels… Police are trying to shield their men involved in this killing and misleading the court by cooking up stories’, Matoo told reporters on the third anniversary of his son. (Gk June 12, 2013)
Such incidents did not happen in mysterious circumstances. Unlike thousand others ‘vanished in thin air’ the life of these blooming youth was snuffed out on the streets of Kashmir in bright day light under the gaze of people and media. In the case of Tufail, as his father says, women eye-witness have identified the policemen who fired a tear smoke canister at Tufail and killed, though the place Tufail was killed at was not witnessing public demonstrations. Unveiling the hypocritical masks of the civil society and parliamentarians of India who during the peak of the mass uprising visited Srinagar and pledged their commitment for justice, Matoo told the media that all of them have sealed their lips since then. He also sough support of Human Rights Organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch but nothing concrete has come pit so far.
Indian civil society and parliamentary delegation are part of the problem. Their shedding crocodile tears on the human rights abuses was meant to play their part in how the mass uprising can be calmed down. The interlocutor group Delhi Darbar employed too had the similar purpose when it was constituted. Its recommendations, no more than a window dressing and far from satisfying genuine aspirations of people in kashmir, are eating the dust of the South Block in Delhi. That reflects the volume of sincerity and seriousness in the corridors of power in Delhi.
Both new Delhi and its puppet regimes in Srinagar are accomplice in the ghastly crimes perpetrated by ‘security forces’ and police on people. Till a credible autonomous institutional structure, outside the state’s immediate jurisdiction, is not constituted the cop killers, whether in khaki or green olive, would keep marauding Scot free. You can not expect from an alleged perpetrator to objectively investigate a crime directed in him. And when the state itself is seen defending and shielding the guilty, wheels of justice delivery system will remain paralyzed. At the cost of human life, dignity and values.