This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why is conscientious Indian civil society silent over killings in Kashmir?!

Civil societies world over have listened to the voice of their conscience and saved humanity from bloodbath. They have risen against the tyranny and oppression perpetrated by cruel and oppressive rulers. The father of Indian nation, Gandhi ji waged struggle against oppression irrespective of religion, caste and ethnicity. It was struggle against oppression let loose against human beings. He came to be known as the founding father of the philosophy of no-violence. Indian rulers have always exploited the slogan that “Bharat follows the principles of Gandhi ji.” Unfortunately the Indian rulers have taken to the game of propaganda. They have rubbed Gandhi ji’s principles into dust at each step. He had clearly said:

“Kashmiris will have to be given their rights according to their wishes. If it means shrinking of India in terms of territory, let it be; if her soul is pure and just, India can become the cradle of non-violence. If India cannot keep the Kashmiri people satisfied, then her image will be distorted in the eyes of world community.” (Atesh-e-Chinar)

Unfortunately, very small voices are raised against the treatment meted out by Indian rulers and their local agents to the people of Kashmir. We the people of Kashmir are at a loss why conscientious people of India are silent over the atrocities perpetrated on us. Is it India’s fake nationalism that prevents conscientious people from opening their mouth? Is it because of faith? Conscientious Indian civil society generally raises its voice against oppression anywhere in the world but not in Kashmir. Why is it so? Why is India bent on distorting her image in the eyes of the whole world? Is it because Kashmiri men, women and children have not guns in their hands? All that they have is one and only one slogan “What do we want? Freedom (azaadi)”. For raising this slogan, Indian security forces and police rain bullets on them. In no civilized country of the world bullets are rained on peaceful protesting mass rallies. Usually, mass rallies are peaceful but security forces baton charge them at every turn. They instigate the crowds to violence. Youth pick up stones in self-defence, in retaliation of which security forces shoot them in their heads and chests. It seems there is deliberate attempt to kill Kashmiri children and youth.

Mass protests are not exclusive to India. These take place from time to time in many countries. Security forces generally use water canons and tear gas shells to disperse mobs. But here bullets are rained even on womenfolk. Security forces come out on rampage almost every day shattering window and motor vehicle panes. Now people have begun covering the windowpanes with metallic sheets for protection.

Indian security forces have come down far below the level of humanism. They baton charge the passers by. They are also using catapults to shoot pebbles on the windowpanes of private houses and break the glasses. “It is rumoured that in 2008 some officers of CRPF had given the contract of breaking the windowpanes of cars to manufacturer making glass.” According to an estimate the security forces are reported to have broken the screens of nearly ten thousand cars so far. They, too, have broken windowpanes of nearly twenty thousand private houses. Our youth also help the Indian manufacturers of glass by smashing windowpanes as all screens and spare parts needed to fix a damaged vehicle are imported from outside the state.

Parents of youngsters complain that the police pick up teen aged boys of 12 to 13 years of age and put them under custody in police stations and then demand their parents to pay them a bribe of anything between 15 and 30 thousand rupees to set their wards free. Scarves of women are removed in public. What more proofs than these are needed about a dehumanised segment of society?

The rulers in Kashmir call themselves Kashmiris but a deeper insight will reveal a horrendous story. They are foremost in perpetrating oppression on people. People would want to know why no fewer than 80 persons have been killed since this February, most of them innocent and young children both males and females. Now things have come to a pass that Pellet Guns used for shooting at animals are used to fire at human beings.

We put a question to those who consider Gandhi ji as the model of humanism. We ask them if they think that Kashmir is a hunting ground and its people are the hunted ones? Can the sentiment of freedom be suppressed by throwing the youth and children into prisons? If this sentiment could not be suppressed for last 63 years then how can you do it now? Omar Abdullah and his father both should understand that whatever they have got or achieved has been achieved only on the behest of this nation. This does not mean that they should subject the entire nation to violence and oppression and thus secure their seats of power. Many chief ministers have had heir day in the past, and Dr. Farooq Abdullah gives statements that give an impression as if in his infatuation for the seat of power he has become a member of Shiv Sena.

We record here some instances showing the circumstances in which a couple of Kashmiri youth were done to death. The purpose is to open the eyes of the people in India that how a claimant to democracy spills the blood of innocent youth.

- Zahid Farooq aged 17 was the only brother of two sisters. On Feb 5, 2010. He was playing cricket with his friends on the roadside, which the BSF Commandant objected to and sent them away.. As they were going back they were fired upon from behind and Farooq was martyred while not a stone was pelted nor was there any rally brought out.
- Inyatullah was returning from tuition and was fired upon around Lal Chowk. His dead body was mauled under a CRPF truck.He was just 14 years old. This happened on 14 Jan 2010.
- Wamiq Farooq, 17 years, as returning from the house of a relative. A tear gas shell hit him on his head and killed him.
- On 11 June, Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, 17 yeas old, the only brother of three sisters was returning from tuition. His head was targeted for tear gas shell. His brain got splashed on the road. What must have passed on the parents of this martyred boy,can the defamers of the name of Gandhi ji imagine? I could not muster courage to go to meet the bereaved family and condole the death. What was I to say? Is there any bigger tragedy than a father carrying the coffin of his young son on his shoulders?
- Javed Ahmad Malla 17 years
- Shakeel Ahmad Ganai 17years, killed in Sopor
- Ferdous Amad 18 years, Sopor
- Bilal Ahmad Wani 18 years, Sopor
- Asif Ahmad Rathor, 9 year child, received CRPF gunshot. Nine year old child could not be a terrorist?
- Tajammul Bashir Bhat 20 year youth shot dead
- Ishtiaq Ahmad Khanday 15 years
- Imtiaz Ahmad 18 yeas
- Shujat ul Islam 19 years. All three were shot dead by police after barging into their homes in Anantnag.
- Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat 17 years, Srinagar. Custodial death, dead body was found on the roadside after three days of his arrest.
- Fayaz Ahmad Wani, 24 years, was among the funeral procession people who were fired upon and he was martyred. It means that after killing a person there is not the permission to lift the coffin.
- Fancy Jan 25, was standing behind the window of her house and looking out and for this crime she was shot dead. Why Ravan like treatment by worshippers of Sita with the Kashmiri women?
- Abrar Ahmad Khan 18 years. Shot at while in peace procession.
- Faizan Rafiq 13 year kid. Task Force gave him a hot purchase. He jumped into the river and was drowned. His killer allowed him to get drowned so as to save one bullet to kill another person.
- Showkat Ahmad Chowpan 20 years was shot and killed by CRPF firing while he participated in peace march.
- Muhammad Rafiq Bhat 14 years killed in firing in Pattan. Reason being in peace march.
- Mudasir Ahmad Lone, 17 years old in Bandipora.
- Rais Ahmad Wani 18 years killed in Pampore.
- Navin Ahmad Shah, 20 years old youth. Victim of CRPF bullet in Haiderpora.
- Afrozah Teli, 17 years old girl martyred in Khrew.
- Tariq Ahmad Dar 17 years martyred in Bejbehara.
- Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, 17 years. Picked up by CRPF and brutally tortured and died in hospital.
- Ashiq Hussain Bhat 14 years killed in CRPF firing on peaceful march in Kulgam.
- Muhammad Yaqub Bhat, 18 years shot at and killed in Pulwama.
- Arshad Ahmad, 17 years, tortured and shot at in Sangham
- Samir Ahmad Rah, 9 years old child in Batamloo was crossing the road in front of his house. CRPF struck him with batons and sticks. He was neither in any rally nor threw any stone. What has Indian democracy to say of this inhuman act of murder?
- Anis Ahmad, 17 years resident of Narvor. Participated in anti -firing peace rally. His dead body was dragged and CRPF placed R.C. Pipe on the dead body.
- Fida Nabi Lone, 20 years was shot dead by CRPF
- Farrukh Bukhari 19 years from Baramulla, killed in police custody and the dead body thrown into the river.
- Mudasir Ahmad Zargar 17 years was shot at when coming out of the mosque after prayers in Kupwara.
- Arif Mir, 18 years shot and killed by CRPF in Sopor.
- Omar Ahmad Dar 16 years shot and killed by CRPF in Narbal, Srinagar.
- Millat Ahmad Dar, 8 years old shot and killed by CRPF in Anantnag. His fault was that he was a Kashmiri kid. Though Indian rulers and National Conference have announced war against Kashmiris but civilized nations do not kill children in war.
- On August 19, CRPF came out on a rampage in Soura and started breaking windowpanes of private houses. In one house they fired at parents and a teen-aged girl child and its aunty. Teen-aged kid was killed under stick blows. Four of the victims are fighting for life in the hospital. The teenaged girl was shot in her chest.

I have listed only 38 cases out of the people killed so far. These killings took place since February. All of them fall in the age group of 9 – 20. The total number of killed computes to nearly 80. Kashmiris put a question to the conscientious Indian civil society. Which country’s law allows firing on peaceful rallies of people? In which country’s law book are we told to rain bullets and kill those who pelt stones? Since February, 80 people have been killed and more than 800 young persons, males, females and children are fighting for life in hospital with wounds. How many of them will become disabled loosing a leg or an eye. More than a thousand people have been sacrificed at the altar of India democracy.

During “Bharat band, Shiv Sena and BJP destroyed property worth 64 thousand crore rupees in Mumbai alone. They humiliated the police in public but not a single casualty happened as a result of police firing. Demonstrations take place in many cities and towns of India. There is pillage and destruction by miscreants. Stones are pelted on police. But unlike Kashmir nowhere in these demonstrations are bullets rained.

Naxalites can kill 70 or 80 CRPF jawans at a time but still the Indian people call them their own people and do not ask for military operation against them. Against it in Kashmir fire is opened on peaceful demonstrations and kids of 8 or 9 years are made the target. Kashmiris are forced to think that India has decaled war against them?. India should remember that even a strong and big nation has not been able to suppress a smaller one. Viet Nam, Algeria and Afghanistan are the examples before us.

A few days ago some unknown person sent some threatening letters to Kashmiri Sikh community. There was the talk of threatening to the Sikhs. Kashmiri Sikh community has been living in harmony with the Muslim community for many centuries in the past. People says “It is a conspiracy by the rulers and miscreants to communalise Kashmir’s peaceful struggle for freedom.” Four and a half lakh Indians came to Kashmir on Amarnth pilgrimage to visit the lingam at the holy cave. Sixty thousand Kashmiri Pandits participated in Khir Bhavani festival in Tulamula. The function continued for three days and the Kashmiris demonstrated their hospitality in full and invited them to their homes. If a Kashmiri Pandit dies in the valley, his Muslim friends take care of his cremation. Therefore the Indians should try to understand that the state rulers want to convert the freedom struggle of Kashmiris into communal clash with the sole motive of saving their seats of power.

Let me make an appeal to the people of India. Do not become silent spectators of humanity in destruction. If you are not willing to rise in support of Kashmiris, at least rise to uphold the principles and ideals of Gandhi Ji and the honour of India by saving Kashmiris from being butchered. Raining bullets on unarmed people will bring a lasting blot on India and the ideals of Gandhi ji.

Hashim Qureshi
Chairman JK Democratic Liberation Party