Indian army…the gravest internal security threat of Kashmir

Kashmir is in news again…protests, firing by the army, encounter, deaths…it’s all back again caring a damn for the “nationwide” world cup frenzy. Blazing past various news threads…let me attempt a brief round up on the issue

Rogues in uniform shielded by the Indian Government
The allegation of murder by the army in Kashmir is nothing new. There had been huge uproar to book the delinquents with charges of murder. But as it seems this very idea is stone-walled by the Government of this largest “democratic” nation. No wonder, not a single member of the armed forces deployed in Kashmir had been tried in court in the last three years for misuse of power.

In April, three from Nadihal village in Baramulla district went missing…
No, they are no more missing. Their bodies had been “discovered” near the Line of Control (LoC), which separates Indian- and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
It was revealed during investigations by the Police that the men had been killed in a staged gun battle, where, a Major of the Indian army had the three men abducted by offering them jobs as porters. According to police investigations, the army major had done it to get “a promotion and/or a cash reward”.
The army however claimed to have killed three militants who possessed Pakistani currency and arms and ammunition.
Is this another instance of innumerable ‘fake encounter’/ extrajudicial killings executed by the Indian Security forces in Kashmir? At least political leaders across the spectrum whether pro or anti Indian, believe so.
“There had been several proven cases of fake encounters in the past 20 years” says Kashmir’s law minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar.
Amidst denial by the army, reports of such “fake encounters” keep on surfacing from time to time in Kashmir.
As for example, some years ago five bodies were dug up in Ganderbal district as part of an investigation into claim that police were manufacturing clashes with militants as a pretext to carry out extrajudicial killings.
Those bodies, buried as foreign militants, later turned out to be civilians. Also, nearly 3,000 unnamed graves in the Baramulla and Kupwara districts were discovered by human rights group a couple of years ago.
According to Khurram Pervez, a human rights activist out of 50 bodies that were exhumed, 47 were identified of which, all but one were those of civilians.

The “trigger-happy” army sparking off mass dissent

With three more deaths on 30th June this year in Anantnag, 11 civilian deaths have taken place at the hands of the Indian security forces this month in Indian-administered Kashmir. The result is Kashmir is witnessing some of the biggest mass upheaval in two years which has renewed Kashmiri calls for the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
The locals and also the state government have unequivocally blamed most of those deaths on the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), who they say to have fired on unarmed protesters who were demonstrating against the killings of civilians by the police and paramilitaries in the Kashmir valley.
“Firing like this was totally unwarranted…” said Ali Mohammad Sagar, the state law Minister to NDTV, a private cable news channel.

NGOs express concern over the state high handedness & absolute apathy displayed by the UPA-led Central government

Groups like ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) have expressed deep apprehension and anguish over the killing of nine young boys in the last two weeks.
According to that group, there had been a sharp increase of “police and paramilitary atrocities, leading to many deaths and injuries.”
The Delhi based group believes that such shameless acts of brutality by the Indian State, in absolute contravention of the law of the land and constitutional rights of the people, have given birth to mass outrage and hostility of large sections of the civilian population in Kashmir. According to a statement given by Tanveer Hussain Khan, Shabnam Hashmi, Mansi Sharma and Seema Duhan on behalf of ANHAD,“These are unarmed, non-violent citizens, who are being treated with such blatant and indiscriminate use of military force — why? Is there no other way to negotiate with civil unrest? And what is the root cause of this civil unrest if not the basic premise of police and paramilitary brutality? And what about cases of atrocities committed on people who are not even protesting?… They should learn some lessons from history. People cannot be won over or suppressed at gunpoint. Certainly, the people of Jammu and Kashmir deserve a more rational, humane, visionary and sensitive response from the Indian state”

“Yeah, you can kill them…just out of a notion”, says the law

Yes, and such license of killing has been conferred by the Armed Forces Special Powers Act’ 1958 (AFSPA), one of the draconian legislations of the Indian Parliament. Promulgated in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1990, the AFSPA gives sweeping powers to the Indian security forces, of which half a million is currently posted in the valley, to kill any civilian merely out of suspicion.
Almost all Kashmiris believe such inhuman act must be scrapped to curtail “fake killings” by the army. The law immune the army who may kill a civilian merely out of suspicion and guards them against prosecution unless the Indian government accords prior sanction for such.
As Mian Abdul Qayoom, an eminent lawyer says, the law has been “misused to kill innocent civilians”. He further mentions that the Indian government has withdrawn permission to act against a soldier even when it is known that he killed civilians without rhyme or reason. We can’t blame him of “blowing things out of proportion”, when he asserts that such fake “encounters” are not stray occurrences or aberrations of some individual soldiers, but this has become a policy of the Indian Government.

There had been repeated demands by the political parties, including ruling National Conference for the withdrawal of the law to make soldiers liable.
On 25th February, this year, Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, assured the state assembly that he will revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act, if the situation improves and that his government will not endure the killing of innocent persons, at any cost, whoever the killers might be. The statement of the Chief Minister can also be watched in this video

According to Mehbooba Mufti, a committee set up by the Prime Minister has also suggested for withdrawal of AFSPA.
The demand to repeal AFSPA is also echoed in the voice of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the Supremo of the Hurriyat Conference. Like many, he too thinks that the Indian government has lost its connect with the Kashmiri people

But there is still no hint of its withdrawal.
So, as most in Kashmir believe, such “fake encounters” will continue to happen.

Facts that can’t be ignored

  • In a poll recently made available by think-tank Chatham House, 75-95 % of the inhabitants of Kashmir support independence from both India and Pakistan.
  • Owing to a rise in a rise in killings allegedly by the Indian security forces, anti-India protests are mostly unprompted; at least the locals believe so.
  • It was the teenagers who had been killed in fresh protests by the security personnel and many who participate in daily protests are young.

A naive inquisitiveness

Was that killing had a hidden agenda? The killing will result into inevitable protests, and the state will remain “disturbed” in the book of the government…definitely a “sound” pretext to continue with AFSPA!!!

News Source:

BBC News
New York Times
Rediff News
Asian News India
World news network
Reuters
The Hindu

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10 Responses to “Indian army…the gravest internal security threat of Kashmir”

  1. Ankita 6 July 2010 at 7:11 PM #

    Whatever the Government or India media may say about Kashmiris but the Kashmir problem will always remain a problem until Kashmiris are asked about their wish!

    Imposing laws like UAPA, AFSPA in disturbed areas will just make those areas more disturbed and nothing will result out of it. sometimes it looks like government doesn’t want to solve the problem. It prefers to keep it as a problem for some hidden or not so hidden gains.

    It is a bloodshed for no reason. How many more people need to be killed when Indian government will realize that it’s killing its own people?

  2. KS 8 July 2010 at 4:01 AM #

    Yes Ankita, its bloodshed for no reason :). This shld be realized by Kashmiri people as well. I was born in Srinagar, its my birthplace, does my opinion count? Thousands of Kashmiri pandits were thrown away from Kashmir, have u seen any of such example anywhere in our country? We can’t close our eyes and see only one side of coin :).

    I suggest Mr. Prabir and you to stop speaking or writing as its very easy to do so from a room fitted with AC and all facilities and spend some time in Kashmir as an ordinary INDIAN, I am sure you will face the truth and ur opinion will change :). Cheers!

  3. Ankita 8 July 2010 at 7:31 PM #

    Yes, KS, I agree with you to the extent that I should go there and see the situation rather than “just” writing. In my opinion, every single opinion of kashmiris count as it is their wish as in where they want to go or don’t want to go anywhere.

    You are right, I haven’t seen any such examples.I don’t know exactly what opinion of mine you would want to change but surely I think most of the Indians like me don’t know the real situation prevailing in Kashmir.

    By reading and sharing thoughts with original inhabitants and people who have experienced the brutalities( may be some good experiences) in the hands of Indian army and government, we can know more about them.

  4. ajay kr bairagi 25 July 2010 at 7:22 PM #

    I think the Kasmir should be give freedom. when india was not free under British Gove., the Kasmir was free. then it was said ” Karod Rajya”. India govt. ruleing the province forcefully. I think there must be mass election where the people of kasmir can say what is they want. they have right:

    1) to add with India
    2) to add with Pakisthan
    3) or to free themselves.

  5. desi indian 1 August 2010 at 12:10 AM #

    The Indian Army should be given a free hand to deal with the problem. They are not being allowed to do so by the govt at present since our politicians are more concerned about vote banks than national interest.

    If the Indian Army is allowed to deal with the problem in their own way, they can crush the movement in a couple of years.

  6. kkbade 16 September 2010 at 9:23 PM #

    I fully agrees with desi indian.MOST OF THE PEOPLE WRITE ONLY GOING BY THE MEDIA REPORTS.BUT ONLY PEOPLE LIKE KS NOWS TNE FACT.IT IS BETTER TO GO THERE AND HAVE ATALKS WITH PANDIT ANY REMAINING THERE AND THEN TAKE APEN BUT WRITE A TRUTH.DO NOT WRITE LIKE A TV REPORTER

  7. anirban.sen2011 18 November 2010 at 10:35 AM #

    @desi indian & kkbade: I feel it’s high time that you shed off a cluster of your ignorance and xenophobic emotions. Indian army is dealing it in their own way…rapes, clod blooded murders, razing up houses, kidnaps…and so on. What else do you need? Still the movement will go on till they attain their goal to free themselves from a tormentor like the Indian government.

  8. Bashir Ahmad Gojree 1 April 2012 at 11:24 AM #

    Rowlett Act 1919 could not do any good to Britishers. So should India expect any favourable result by imposing more harsh Acts like AFSPA?

  9. akela 25 April 2012 at 1:08 PM #

    read book ‘General Salute’.

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