The ‘goodwill’ or illwill gesture

            On the eve of India’s Independence Day (15th August), Omar Abdullah-led coalition Sarkar of NC and Congress, as a ‘goodwill gesture’ released a near dozen of prisoners lodged in various jails. Of the eight prisoners, seven have been convicted for murders who were serving life sentences. Two of the released prisoners convicted for murder hailed from outside state. Two Ikhwanis (government sponsored gunmen), also convicted for murder, with lifer in their name, have also been released.

            The composition of the convicts set free by the government reveals the intent behind this ‘goodwill gesture’. The released people are their own people the benefits and comforts of Indian democracy are sought for. If one odd innocent prisoner from Kashmir manages to wriggle out from the womb of this “catholicity”, it is more a balancing act meant to cover up its biased approach and vendetta. Every move of the Establishment announces colonial manipulation, with a predetermined result. Thus even a “goodwill gesture” does stink a double-speak and terribly deceitful intent, much the same way as the Sadhbhavanas and bharat darshanas were politically motivated. Even a rose flung from Darbar to Kashmiris loses the virginity of the fragrance. It smells poison. Indians, thanks to their countless betrayals, deceptions, reneging from pledges and their imperialistic look – more pronounced in the last two decades – have corrupted the expression and semantics of the language. Darbar have evolved a new Goblin taxonomy. They have improvised Chankyanetee to its perfection.

            Anyways, Omar Abdullah, a Delhi’s political lackey, who has obviously Delhi’s nod for the “I.D gift”, cannot earn the “goodwill” his masters have hoped from the people in Kashmir in resorting to such measures.

            Besides, the gesture has manifestly made it clear that state government maintains different yard stick in two ide4ntical cases. Dr. Qasim Faktoo is the Kashmir’s longest serving detainee who has completed 20 years in jail last year. Had rule of law prevailed here, the Muslim League leader and husband of Asiya Andrabi (Dukhtaran Chief) should have been acquitted long ago. But it is only the political vendetta that has prevented his acquittal. He was due to release last year.

            Dr. Faktoo was jailed under the POTA in 1992, a year after he was married to Asiya Andrabi. A Delhi court quashed his detention in 2002 but the crime branch of the police challenged the decision in the Supreme Court of India. The year long trial concluded in 2003 with the apex court awarding life imprisonment to Faktoo. On May 31 this year, he completed 21 years in jail. When he completed his 14 years in jail, a review board recommended his release but the state government went to the High Court for prolonged detention. The single bench of HC ordered that Faktoo being a TADA convict be released after 20 years which he completed in jail last year. But government did not release him. Instead it went to HC where the double bench said ‘life sentence if for life’. The family has submitted for review of the HC’s decision by a double bench. The case is listed for hearing in October.

            The approach of the state government, , reflects that Faktoo’s prolonged detention is as Asiya says ‘a political decision which has nothing to do with the rule of law, because jail Manual clearly mentions that life sentence is for 14 years and for 20 years for TADA convicts. But this government managed to have the law overruled just to keep Dr. Faktoo in jail’. (Kashmir Reader, 17th August, 2013)


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