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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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Afzal Guru’s execution and legal aspects


“Some people don’t like telling the truth, others don’t like hearing it”

On learning about hanging an offender in 21st century, one is transported to 8th or 10th century.  In this century, offenders are not given punishment to put an end to their life but to improve and reform them.  In more than 150 countries capital punishment has been abolished. The thinking among intellectuals is that if a government retaliates with same vengeance as the offender acts, it has no better thinking than that of the offender. Thereby the government commits no less a crime. There can be an error in meting out justice. In the process of evolution nations have done away with capital punishment.

Was Afzul Guru a culprit or not, can be a contentious issue. We shall have a look at its legal aspects. We take into account his interrogation during imprisonment. Radio Pacific Network correspondent Vinod K. Jose had interviewed him in Tihar jail on 19 January 2013. Guru had talked at length about STF Kashmir, BSF Kashmir, 22 RR and Delhi Police. He had also given details of his case to Human Rights and Civil Society organizations. He also said how Delhi police had blackmailed him from time to time. He had not seen his lawyer or his family members for six months. “I saw my family at Patiala House Court but only from afar. I gave names of four lawyers to plead my case. Court judge S.N. Dhengra said they could not plead my case. The lawyer given to me by the court filed many prosecution papers without telling me which were accepted and at the end of the day he began pleading the case of another accused and not mine. The court appointed Amicus quadric. He was not appointed to defend me but to help the court and he never met me. Initially I didn’t have a lawyer available,” is what Guru had told the correspondent.

High Court acquitted S.A.R. Geelani and two more accused but upheld death penalty to Afzal Guru.

No direct witnesses were available in this case from the early beginning. It maintained his death sentence on the basis of circumstances. It was perhaps for the first time that such a high ranking court said this in its judgment:

“The incident which resulted in heavy casualties has shaken entire nation and collective conscience of the society will be satisfied if the capital punishment is awarded to the offender.”

We don’t intend to open any legal commentary on the court verdict but let it be said that more than two hundred intellectuals, writers and film makers wrote to the President of India as this:

“We believe that you made a grave error in rejecting the Mercy Petition of Afzal Guru”. They said that the offender is given the right for judicial review once the Mercy Petition is rejected. Afzal Guru was denied this right.

Monday, February 18, 2013

J&K caught in whirlpool of problems

“You are weak when you lie because you aren’t strong enough to face the truth”
Politics literally means serving humanity or making service to humanity as one’s profession. Unfortunately, in the sub-continent, and some Arab and Asian countries, politics carries only one meaning viz. oppression, tyranny, bribery, loot and pushing people to the whirlpool of complex problems. This generally has led to unrest and turmoil in these countries.

During 2008 election all mainstream political parties like NC, PDP, Congress, CPIM, Awami National Conference, BJP and other pro-Indian organization had made promises of redressing the grievances of people, especially the problems of power, water supply and employment. On these promises they obtained votes.

Actually the people of the State also changed their stance overnight like chameleon and took part in that election on the presumption that participation was not for solving Kashmir issue but addressing day to day problems. Prior to election nearly 63 Kashmiri youth laid down their lives in Ragra Movement.

The question is that when these parties made promises of redressing the grievances and sough the vote, why people did not ask them that they were not able to provide basic necessities like electricity, water, roads and employment during past sixty years. What magic wand had they now in their hands that they would do in just six years what they could not do in sixty years.

The people given to sentimentality were made scapegoats during past sixty-five years. I give a simple example. If anybody is able to make little progress by dealing in handicrafts like paper mache or wood carving etc. others want to follow suit, of course quite blindly. The result is that they have paved the way for decay of Kashmir crafts. Hundreds of thousands of people who had flocked to this business blindfold are in a wretched condition. Loans were taken from banks apparently for doing some business and self-employment. Instead they bought Maruti cars and scooters and ignored the original purpose of taking loans

Whenever elections were held, people willy-nilly participated in these. Yet in spite of that gun was very much with the militants. People did not care to put questions to them where the gun would be taking them to. And when the gun was taken up not one but few scores of them came into being. It is amusing to note that the gun that was imported to be used against the Indian troops has been used more against Kashmiris and by Kashmiris. When Kashmiris began to surrender, this also became a precedent followed blindly by the gun-wielders.