Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kashmir: Not a Black and White Problem

In the cozy living rooms of middle class India news from Kashmir excites the people and gives them the chance to prove themselves as the great lover of the country by saying few line about it like ‘Dooth Mangoge to Kheer Dange, Kashmir mangogay to cheer dange’ (we will give you anything you want but if you want Kashmir then we will tear you), ‘Why don’t we attack Pakistan to solve the problem of Kashmir’, ‘The people of Kashmir don’t want to be in India and army is teaching them nice lesson’, ‘When we are giving them so special rights like article 370 then what else they want’. ‘Those who are helping the terrorists should be killed’ so on and so forth’. These casual comments on Kashmir try to make the issue black and white which hints that the solution is very easy and why not the Government of India is showing its intention to solve the issue.

Time and again the hue and cry for Plebiscite is asked by the people from some parts of the society considering that it will solve their problem. There are three sections of the people in J&K, one, who wants to remain with India, second, who want to go with Pakistan and third, who wants them to be independent and not to be ruled by India or Pakistan. We can sense that the majority of them don’t want to be with Pakistan but skewness of the graph tilted toward India and Independent Kashmir from time to time. Let us say, majority of the people want to be Independent, what answer do we have? Before jumping in to the conclusion and imagined-theories we first understand how this segment of the people looks towards India.
This section of Kashmiris never likes India, because they always have seen India with guns in CRPF jawans or in army men. Outside they are been treated as terrorist and in Kashmir they think they have been treated as slave. The history has created their memory the way it is and Pakistan continued fueling the issues to create a hostile environment against India.

Parveena Ahangar achieved international attention in 1994 when she formed Association of Parents of Disappeared People (APDP). On 18 August 1990, Javed Ahmad Ahangar, then a 17-year-old student, was allegedly picked up by the army for a militant. She started an agonising search for her son. She informed the local police station about his arrest and staged a sit-in on the road for a full day. After a six- month search for her son, she finally approached the court which ordered an inquiry into her missing son's case. For four years nothing substantial happened in her case. The state government's request for sanction to prosecute the accused Army officers was not granted by the central government. In 1994, determined to continue her struggle, Parveena formed the Association of Parents of Disappeared People (APDP). The APDP believes 8,000 to10,000 people are missing.

On 21 August 2011, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) confirms that 2,156 unidentified bodies lay in unmarked graves in 30 locations in north Kashmir. The SHRC had ordered the investigation after taking cognisance of a December 2009 report on mass graves titled “Buried Evidence” by the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK).
Now there are two versions of truths; one version says that these are the bodies of militants who were killed by armed forced and another version says that these bodies are from 10,000 missing people.

The incident that further strengthened the memory of this section of the people is Kunan Poshspora incident occurred on February 23, 1991. An army unit launched a search and interrogation operation in Kunan Poshspora, Kupwara district and 53 women were allegedly gang raped by soldiers that night. Villagers claimed that a police investigation never took place in the region. Wajahat Habibullah, former DC, asked why not the incident was first reported and answer was not easy. Some women don’t want them to be publicize as the raped victim in the conservative society and others who wanted to come up were not heard.

After much criticism Press Council of India investigate the incident and medical examination conducted on 32 women nearly one month after incident, confirmed that the women had wounds on their chests and abdomens, and that the hymens of three of the unmarried women had been torn. But the team claimed that that such delayed examination proved nothing.

Once again there are two versions of statements; one states that the charges against army were bundle of fabricated lies and a massive hoax orchestrated by militant groups and all allegations are grossly exaggerated or invented. Another version, from Asia Watch, in its 1991 stated, ‘The alacrity with which military and government authorities in Kashmir discredited the allegations of rape and their failure to follow through with procedures that would provide critical evidence for any prosecution’.

The plight of soldier fighting in the Kashmir valley is not less critical than the people of Kashmir. If he is asked to kill the enemy in battlefield, he doesn’t have to give the second thought but to shoot. But if he is landed in the place where he is surrounded by his own people but some of them can be his enemy whom he has to kill to save him and his country. Thousands of the solders have given their lives in the valley.  Nearly 4,000 soldiers have been killed in the country after the Kargil operations in 1999 while more than 390 Army troops have committed suicide in the last three years, Lok Sabha was informed on 25 November 2012.

Minority hindu and majority muslims believed and created ‘Kashmiriyat’ in the long past was ruined by the crackdown in 1990’s, when a number of forces started playing together; ISI’s role in Kashmir, Political right of Kashmiris, Mujahideen Influence, religion and human rights violation by militants and by armed forces. The people in Kashmir, whether participated with any force or not, remain the only victim.

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