This is in response to Prem Shankar Jha’s, article “Kashmir’s fateful elections” published in daily Greater Kashmir of 12th May 2014.
In his article , Jha among other things, has dubbed more than 120 children killed in 2010 unrest as stone-pelters. By such a classification, Jha has betrayed his journalistic dishonesty & intellectual malnutrition.
Who were the teenage children killed by barbarians in 2010? A look at the profile of a few of them is revealing. Twelve year old Wamiq Farooq was killed when a policeman fired a teargas shell at him outside a Cricket Stadium. The official enquiry report accuses the policeman, who is since in hiding, of having fired without any provocation . Seventeen-year-old Tufail Ahmad Mattoo was killed while returning home after attending his tuition class. Sameer Ahmad Rah, aged 8 years had gone to buy fruits. He was beaten to death by CRPF outside his family house at Batmaloo. At the time of his death he was found having a pear in his hand.
According to J&K Police, Sameer died of trampling in a stampede & not in Stone throwing. Mohd. Yaqoob Khan, adopted son and only hope of an aged couple was killed in Tangmarg while protesting for alleged desecration of Holy Quran. Mohammad Abas , Resident of Anantnag was going to get medicine for his ailing grandfather when CRPF men surrounded him and beat him mercilessly. Five days later he succumbed to his injuries. Ishtiyaq, Imtiyaz & Shujat-ul-islam,were bystanders when they were chased by police. They ran for safety and entered compound of a house where all three were killed in cold blood. Noor-ul-Amin of Anantnag was killed when forces fired at a funeral procession, he was accompanying.
Similarly Javed Ahmad Malla of Qamarwari Srinagar was killed when forces fired at the funeral procession of his cousin. Afroza Akhtar, a 19 year old girl of Khrew, Pulwama was looking for her brother when forces fired at her. Javed Iqbal Rather of Pampore was going for prayers to the Masjid when he was shot at point blank range in his head. Rafeeqa Begum, a young woman of Village Ompora, was hit by a stray bullet in her arm. The police prevented the family from taking her to Hospital and she scccumbed to her injuries at home. Iqbal of Srinagar was shot & killed by CRPF in head when he left home to buy biscuits from a nearby shop. Umer of Narbal was playing cricket in a field during Curfew hours. A CRPF vehicle passed by and opened fire, killing Umer on spot. Mudasir of Baramulla had left Masjid & was eating snacks on the road when CRPF personnel patrolling the street opened fire and Mudasir was hit in the abdomen. He succumbed to his injuries in the Hospital.
While it is impossible for constraints of space to dwell upon individual profiles of all children, it may be informative for Jha to note the following observation of Honb’le Hight court of J&K on the issue of constitution of Commission of Enquiry in respect of 2010 Killings. “The State Govt. must explain why the Commission of Enquiry was restricted to only 17 killings—out of more than 120 deaths of unarmed protesters and bystanders at the hands of police and paramilitary CRPF—and why other cases were left out from the purview of the Commission.”
Mr. Jha is a Journalist, columnist and a writer of repute. He has to his credit, two books on Kashmir besides having written extensively on Kashmir. He should have better known that Out of the total killed, 83% were in the age group of upto 30 years, 7% in the age group of 30-40 years & the remaining 10% above Forty years. This means that persons in the most reproductive age group (Upto 40 years) formed bulk of the victims (90%) which clearly establishes the motive of security forces to perform a generational genocide of Kashmiri people. A more relevant question which Jha needs to ponder upon, is as to why the entire idea of Indian nationalism has been reduced to control over territory and subjugation of smaller nationalities. Over the years it has led to myriad killings of innocent people and crimes against humanity in the garb of ‘ National interest’ which is a total negation of the concept of non-violence and humanism that Gandhi espoused & exploited to get freedom for his own country. And does he need to be reminded that there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people?
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)