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Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

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The picture that you see above is from a “crackdown” in Kashmir from 90s. What exactly is a crackdown?

Consider this situation, At the crack of dawn, your home is encircled by armed individuals who without any legal justification subject you to an arrest and you are not told under what charges but you get the hint why this is unfolding as it is. You are directed to an open air prison.

Tough luck if you are the only male member in your house, you still must follow the orders of these gunmen. As far as the women and children are concerned they must stay back and be used as human shield just in case.

Your plea to stay with the family while the “search” is on falls on deaf ears. If you insist, there’s every chance you might be spared the open air prison and instead get hauled to an Abu Gharaib kind of place. Tough choice isn’t it.

You sheepishly start the walk and are greeted with choicest abuses, you boil from inside. Your mind wanders back to what must be the scene at your home. You curb your instincts and decide to bear the humiliation.

Finally you reach the ‘prison’ and look around and find every male member of your neighborhood is already there. “Some solace” you say without saying it.

You are not allowed to express any resentment. Even if no charges can be pressed, yet the detention continues.  You spend the day and just before the dusk, you are asked to get up and face up to a vehicle while the armed individual holds you (see the picture). There are scores of vehicles and you are ordered to face up to each one of those in the same way.

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You get up and gear yourself to bear another humiliating ritual (see picture) and then you hear what you don’t want to – a loud horn. Fearing the worst you close your eyes only to realise that its not you but the next one the honk was meant for. You say “Thank God, it was someone else” and you don’t care if anyone heard you this time. With not even a second’s delay, the unfortunate soul is blindfolded and hauled into a truck. An Abu Gharaib he cannot escape even if he begged and pleaded. Somehow you escape each one of these and are released.

You are relieved that you can go home fully aware this might continue for many days at a stretch and it did. And you reach home and see every room in your house has been ransacked. You ask yourself since when did insurgents start hiding in rice canisters and since when did armed individuals think they can fit unharmed in suitcases. You know the hunt is not for the individual who picked up a gun and who fights for freedom but it’s your desire to unshackle yourself from the chains of slavery that’s the target.

The next dawn, the story continues. And your desire to be free – invigorated.

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Friends another sad day in the already sad history of our valley.

Yet another grenade attack on civilians this time near a Friday congregation. Five killed and countless injured in Tahab Pulwama. And all the government comes up with is this.

 Deputy Commissioner (DC) Pulwama, Meraj Ahmad Kakroo told Greater Kashmir that the Maulana had not sought permission from the district administration for holding the congregation, as a result no security arrangements were made.
Courtesy Greater Kashmir

The matter doesn’t simply end there. Soon after this incident residents of Tahab claimed that the grenade thrower was nabbed by them and understandably handed over to the police.

Some reports said that local residents, who were on way to the mosque for Friday prayers spotted the grenade thrower and chased him and captured him at a distance from the mosque. The grenade thrower, whose identity was not known, was handed over to police, said the reports.
Courtesy Greater Kashmir

The man who allegedly threw the grenade at Tahab in Pulwama district triggering a blast that killed five persons has been handed over to the Army. Ghulam Nabi, a resident of Litter village in Pulwama, was caught by local people on Friday after he allegedly hurled the grenade outside a mosque at Tahab, a defence spokesman said on Saturday.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S M Sahai said the youth was paid Rs 1,000 by Hizbul Mujahideen to hurl the grenade with the intention of targetting Maulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi, a preacher of Barielvi sect.
Courtesy Kashmir Live – Indian Express

This revelation from the IGP (Kashmir) came shortly after the state administration had vehemently denied that people had caught hold of the grenade thrower.

But Kakroo, the Deputy Commissioner, said, “These reports (that people caught the grenade thrower) are just rumours.”
Courtesy Greater Kashmir

Now having read all this I am really amazed at the speed with which a) DC Sahib vehemently denied people having handed over the culprit to the Police / Army (and in the process branded the locals (dare I say) as liars, and b) IGP Sahib’s earnest in letting us know the motive behind the whole thing after acknowledging the fact that locals did indeed nab the culprit, within an hour or so after the bureaucrat’s denial.

Now it is a mathematical certainity that at maximum only one of the above two statements is correct. If no one was caught IGP Sb had no reason to talk about the identity of the person, the sum handed over and the motive as well. And if someone was indeed caught (as the locals claim and so do the IGP) why did our DC Sahib show all the eagerness in denying the truth.

Mind you if such earnest was shown in securing the lives of people (rather than bothering about the bureaucratic hassles) today I would not have been commenting on this sordid episode. DC Pulwama says since no permission was sought for congregation so no security was provided – as if to say no permission is equivalent to denial of right to live. The fact that the congregation was being held must have been common knowledge atleast in today’s times. So why was the police protection denied? Just because of procedural hassles we have lost more innocent lives and no-one (repeat no-one) is willing to share the blame.

At the same point of time general public would like to know what happened to the grenade thrower who was nabbed yet again by public (isn’t it amazing un-armed civilians did the job twice) in Dalgate and handed over to Police. Till date we are yet to hear about that as well. Why isn’t that person paraded in front of live 24X7 TV channels. I don’t care a damn who the guy is and what his theory is. I want him to be ashamed of himself. But may be he cannot be questioned.. Why (you may ask)? Well I had once heard this urdu couplet somewhere… Though it doesnt entirely fit in the context but I found it apt

Mujhsey mat poochh merey dil ki kahani humdum….
ismey kuchh parda nasheenon key bhi naam aatey hain

Could someone please explain till how long do we have to face these faceless murderers?

Juz A Kashmiri

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Hi Everyone,

I am sure if you have been blogging recently you might have come across this one post “An Open Letter to Kashmiri Muslims” on the blog A Soul in Exile. Although a quick glance at Kashmir’s history and some statistics may have helped me to draft a better reply but due to paucity of resources (read time) I have put some of my views instinctively. I am reproducing the same here for your benefit.

Dear Mr. Koul,

Its good to see we have people around who know how to put their point of view across and at the same time not sound offensive. You have raised some very interesting questions and I would try to answer some of those, and I’m convinced you would surely be left to ponder. Much like I have been forced to on reading your post.

You have started with the history of Kashmir and you believe the dispute is a direct consequence of history. I would surely like to agree but not exactly with the events you are linking the present conflict to. If you feel conversion to Islam is the root cause of the conflict, I think you are missing the wood for the trees. If the problem was so simple it would not have reached the stage where we’re today.

Although you start with Kashmir imbroglio and the reasons, you suddenly have displayed the tendency to comment on Islam as to how it has become less of a religion and more a political front (Thanks, but I never knew). I would not agree at all with this assumption and neither with the assumption that Islam has become imperial. Can you name one country which has fallen to the imperialist designs (if there were any such designs). You may cite Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait… well it was not done to spread Islam but for usurping the riches of the oil-rich nation.

You say Islam is losing its identity, Once again thank you so much for I never knew. What I knew was that Islam is the fastest spreading religion in the world – be it US (especially after 9/11) or Korea. I never knew an ideology which was diminishing in its appeal and at the same time growing at tremendous pace. I am sure you would like to check your facts now.

About your argument equating Himachal Pradesh with the valley I have nothing to say except the fact that I am really disappointed to find someone who is so keen on going back hundreds of years ago has conveniently forgotten the similarity does not exist at all. Kashmir always enjoyed an independent existence and only after 1947 has been a part of India (for good or bad, I dont know).

Your query as to why Kashmiri Pandits are not converting in droves, well we don’t have a person of the stature of Sayyid Ali Hamadani with us. And the fact that you always have turned a blind eye to the reality. Tell me the last time any Pandit organisation condemned (even for publicity) the atrocities Kashmiri Muslims are bearing. And let me tell you our heart pains to see an innocent (be it a Muslim or Pandit) being killed at whosoever’s hands.

Your argument of Pandits criss-crossing the globe and living in Europe or US doesn’t hold any merit. For there are two reasons
1. They did not have the guts to stay and fight it out like ordinary Kashmiris (who face the bullet from either side) are. I am told there are nearly half a million troops there for a fistful of “aatankwaadis”. Strange isn’t it.
2. Though it counts for nothing but I am saying it for you only, I assume you have travelled far and wide and know there are countless number of Kashmiri Muslims as as well who are globe-trotters.

You are invited to drop your comments on my blog https://kasheer.wordpress.com as well

 I am sure that is enough food for thought for you.

Lets learn to agree to disagree.

Juz A Kashmiri

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