Month: May 2014
(By Abdul Majid Zargar)
The Indian Army fully backed & supported by the State has done what it knows best. It has closed the Pathribal fake encounter case on the ground of non-availability of evidence, despite well established facts & plenty of unimpeachable evidence unearthed earlier by India’s own Investigative agency.
The conclusion was forgone the moment Supreme Court interpreted the law on prior sanctions for prosecuting Army personnel indulging in cold blooded murder of innocent civilians of Kashmir, in favor of the Army . The apex court, during the hearing of the same case had observed “You go to a place in exercise of AFSPA, you commit rape, you commit murder, then where is the question of sanction? It is a normal crime which needs to be prosecuted, and that is our stand.
AFSPA gave you “very limited protection” confined to action only in “discharge of duty”. But when the time for final judgment came-it reversed its own stand. It held the prior sanction of Central Govt. a necessary pre-requisite for launching prosecution even for heinous crimes committed outside the line of duty. It further gave Army the option of trying the accused in its own Kangaroo Court instead of a trying them in a civilian court for an offence established beyond doubt. The Army grabbed the option & summoned the families of the victims to Nagrota, the 16 Corps HQs in Jammu, on September 20, 2012, 300 miles away from their homes. Public protests prompted the case’s transfer to Awantipora. The witnesses understandably expressed fears about entering army camps. The 15 Corps at Srinagar defended the officials; its sister, the 16 Corps, claims to offer their victims a fair trial. The end result is before all of us to see, thanks to the Supreme Court. There can be no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice and this what Supreme Court’s decision has precisely achieved.
Pathribal Fake encounter is not only important for punishing army personnel involved in cold blood murder of five civilians but also vital for unearthing the hands behind slaughter of thirty five Sikhs in what is known as chittisinghpora massacre of March 2000.If the accused army personnel knew that the persons they killed in fake encounter were not the persons behind the said massacre, then there is a reason to believe that they also know who the actual killers behind the massacre were. One has to link this proposition in light of what Farooq Abdullah, the former chief Minster of J&K State said in his address at an annual convention of the Kashmir Sikh Sangat (KSS) in Jammu on 17th February 2008.
“There were some people who tried to scuttle the investigations. Some investigators were even threatened. I want to reveal the conspiracy behind the massacre, but as I am under an oath, I cannot do so”. This statement tells you all that is necessary to know as to who killed the innocents Sikhs of Chattisinghpora.
What is baffling is not what Indian State has done or is doing in the State of J&K? The surprise & consternation is over the criminal silence of international Community led by UN and its agencies charged with the task of upholding of human rights the world over. The Amnesty International or Human rights watch have done nothing concrete in Kashmir beyond issuing rhetorical & customary statements. What they fail to see is that Kashmir has become a human tragedy played out through myriad acts, the latest being the closure of Pathribal case.
Injustice is part of life in Kashmir and Kashmiris have long known that. But injustice underlined and enlarged by neglect of international community makes for an ugly and repulsive reality. Such is the state of a population brought to its knees, on the one hand by the State terror and on the other hand by the failure of those, supposedly in the business of upholding the human rights of its unfortunate citizens, to rise to the occasion and come to their rescue
By all modes, means and measures, it is the responsibility of international community to take instant action to stop this gradual genocide before it becomes too late to overcome the blistering situation in the State of Jammu & Kashmir – a Paradise on Earth, turned into a hell by sadistic Indian assailants. Silence is not an option for the international community.
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In occupied Kashmir, the veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, while remembering the martyred children of Wullar tragedy on their eighth anniversary, has appealed to the people of Handwara tehsil to hold special prayer meetings for the victims on May 30.
According to Media sources, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar expressed sympathy with the families of the martyred children. “The Wullar tragedy is among those incidents which are directly linked with the freedom movement of Kashmir. It can’t be neglected in any case or any way as 21 innocent students and an employee lost their lives due to criminal negligence of Indian Navy. We can’t rule out conspiracy into this incident,” he added.
The veteran leader said that the tragedy should be mentioned in every Masjid of Handwara on Friday (May 30) and then after the Juma prayers, people should visit the families, whose dear ones were martyred in the incident and express solidarity with them.
Syed Ali Gilani also urged the leaders and activists of his party, Tehreek-e-Hurriyet Jammu and Kashmir, in Kupwara district to fulfill their responsibilities in this regard.
It is to mention here that 22 persons including 20 children of Burning Candle Public School Handwara were drowned in Wullar Lake On May 30, 2006, due to the negligence of Marcos, an elite operation unit of Navy .
In occupied Kashmir, Hurriyet leaders and organizations while welcoming the meeting between prime ministers of Pakistan and India have stressed that the Kashmir dispute needs to be addressed for better bilateral relations between the two countries.
According to Media sources, the two Prime Ministers, Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi, met in New Delhi a day after Modi took oath as the Prime Minister of India.
The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, commenting on Nawaz-Modi meeting in a media interview said that it was a good beginning to rejuvenate the frosty relations between the two neighbouring countries. He, however, stressed that for any movement forward, the Kashmir dispute needed to be discussed between the leaderships of the two countries.
Senior leader of Hurriyet Conference, Shabbir Ahmad Shah in a statement said that the meeting that took place between Modi and Sharif should not be for the sake of meeting but both the sides should focus on resolution of the Kashmir issue. “Meetings that will focus on trade, travel and commerce will yield nothing concrete for the two countries unless heads of the two countries make Kashmir as a core issue on the agenda of their meetings,” he observed.
The Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami of occupied Kashmir, Mohammad Abdullah Wani, in a media interview in Srinagar termed the meeting a good beginning but stressed that all such meetings could prove futile unless the Kashmir dispute was discussed. He said that Narendra Modi’s invitation to all SAARC heads especially Nawaz Sharif to attend his swearing-in ceremony was a good diplomatic signal from Modi.
“Kashmir being a core issue should be focus of any meeting between the heads of India and Pakistan or otherwise discussing trade, travel and other related issues will only prove a futile exercise,” Wani observed.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front-R Chief Patron, Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo, in a statement welcomed the meeting, saying that it would help defuse tension between the two countries. “Kashmir issue is the main problem between the two countries. Both the premiers should keep the Kashmir issue on their top priorities and should strive to solve it in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” he added.
The Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadith of occupied Kashmir said that the arrival of Nawaz Sharif in Delhi was in itself a breakthrough aimed at breaking the ice between the two neighbouring countries.
The veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, said that his forum would issue a statement on the meeting after a meeting of its Executive Council.
In occupied Kashmir, at least 75 youth were injured due to deadly pellet firing by Indian police in selected months of 2010, 2011 and 2013 in Baramulla district.
According to Media sources, among the injured Abdul Ghani Gojri died on August 25, 2011, while ten cases of serious eye injuries caused by the weapon have also been confirmed by the authorities District Hospital Baramulla.
It was admitted by the authorities in response to an application filed by Abdul Manan Bukhari of APHC’s Legal Cell under Right to Information Act (RTI).
Out of the 10 patients with eye injuries, Muzamil Qayoom of Sheeri Baramulla lost vision in his left eye.
The applicant had sought information about the total number of injured protestors admitted to DH Baramulla from 2010 to 2013. However, the hospital administration provided information about those injured admitted in the hospital for only a few months of these years.
The RTI query revealed that from 9 February 2013 to 11 March 2013, 91 patients were admitted in the District Hospital Baramulla among which 40 were having pellet injuries.
In occupied Kashmir, hundreds of inhabitants of various localities from the vicinity of Tosa Maidan firing range staged a protest demonstration at Press Enclave in Srinagar against the distortion of facts through biased and dishonest reporting by an Indian writer, Prem Shankar Jha, on the issue of people’s demand of shifting the firing range.
According to Media sources, the protestors were holding banners, which were inscribed with slogans in favour of just and true reporting over the issue.
“Jha has distorted the facts while quoting locals. The fact is that he never visited our localities nor met any adversely affected family of Tosa Maidan,” the banners read.
Prem Shankar Jha recently wrote in Tehalka newsmagazine that locals were not demanding shifting of Tosa Maidan firing range from the area.
”The author has mentioned in clear terms that his visit was arranged by the Army in the hope that someone would report their side of the story,”’ said Moulvi Maqbool, Vice-Chairman, Tosa Maidan Bachao Front, an organization campaigning for the non-extension of lease of the meadow to the Indian army.
“Actually people like Prem Shankar Jha come to Kashmir in order to escape the scorching heat. His misleading article has mentioned the Sarpanch of Drung twice without quoting his name. I am the Sarpanch of Drung, and a founder member of Tosa Maidan Bachao Front,” said Mansoor Ahmad. “However I haven’t met any person by this name,” he stated.
Dr Sheikh Ghulam Rasool, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Movement, also condemned the biased piece published in Tehelka. ”Prem Shankar Jha has very cleverly concocted one side of the story to suite his interests but that’s not how journalism works. Has he spoken to the 43 widows who beg for a blanket, a torn sweater, some leftovers for their children? Has he interacted with the 94 orphans who don’t know what it’s like to have a father?” asked Dr Sheikh.
In occupied Kashmir, pro-liberation leaders and different organisations of doctors have condemned the suspension order of the President of Doctors Association of Kashmir, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan, demanding immediate roll-back of the decision.
According to Media sources, the veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, in a statement while describing the suspension of Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan as politically motivated decision and an act of revenge said that the order should be revoked forthwith. “Dr Nisar is an honest and a God-fearing person. Besides, he is also a conscious freedom-loving person for which, he has been punished,” he said.
The veteran leader said that Dr Nisar had not been suspended for any negligence in his professional duties but he was being targeted for his political ideologies. It is not only an open and clear human rights violation but this type of acts are also against the law, he added.
Syed Ali Gilani said every democratic and civilized society allowed every citizen to adopt and follow any ideology and to propagate it to others. “Kashmir issue is an internationally accepted fact and Kashmiris are the worst sufferers of this issue. Political uncertainty and instability continues here due to which people from every walk of life are suffering,” he said.
The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Muhammad Yasin Malik, in a statement termed the puppet authorities’ order regarding suspension of Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan as a glaring example of revengeful behavior. “Rulers are suppressing every voice of dissent by brute force. Suspending Dr Nisar shows the level of frustration these rulers and their authorities are suffering from,” he said.
The Doctors Association of Kashmir warned that they would suspend their work in all the hospitals in case the suspension order was not revoked. The DAK spokesman said, “If the suspension order is not revoked immediately, we will be left with no option than to shut down hospitals and the onus will lie on the authorities.”
The Resident Doctors Association SMHS hospital demanded of the puppet regime to repeal the order regarding suspension of Dr Nisar. Kashmir Private Diagnostic Centers Association President, Umar Dhar, said that Dr Nisar be allowed to resume his duty. Junior Doctors’ Association SMHS hospital also called for immediate roll back of the suspension order.
In occupied Kashmir, the authorities have arrested several Hurriyet leaders, including senior Hurriyet Conference leader, Shabbir Ahmad Shah.
According to Media sources, the detained leaders were arrested at Pampore while they were on their way to Shopian and Kulgam to express solidarity with the families of Ishfaq Ahmad Butt and Zubair Ahmad Butt, who were recently martyred by Indian troops at Nowpora in Kulgam district.
The other leaders who were detained on the occasion included Shabbir Ahmad Dar, Muhammad Yusuf Naqash, Ajaz Ahmad Mir and Muhammad Yasin Ataai.