The death of Shahid Ahmad Mir in the Hafruda forest of Handwara in North Kashmir reminds us all of the Machil encounter. It also took place along similar lines with the same tactics and propaganda. The 23-year-old Shahid from Daril Tarathpor, Handwara, was missing for the last few days. Bashir Ahmad Mir, the father of Shahid Ahmad Mir, said that the police had killed his son in a fake encounter and labelled him as a militant.
The irony is that DGP SP Vaid said the police have started investigating the matter. What did your investigations prove in Shopian? Have the police and other officials delivered justice to the families of the victims?
Fake encounters have political motives to them and this is not the first fake encounter to take place in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir. Several such encounters and abductions have been taken place in different parts of the state at the hands of men in uniform. The former SP Hansraj Parihar was a mastermind in executing such encounters. Because of this, the people of Kashmir have lost the faith in the system to deliver justice. What happened to the Shopian murder case? It is unfortunate that so far, nothing has happened.
There is a wise saying – justice delayed is justice denied. Kashmiris have not seen justice till date in cases like the Machil tragedy, the Shopian Murder, the killing of hundred civilians – including teenagers – during the 2010 unrest and so on.
These barbaric tactics have been executed in Kashmir for a long time now to suppress the true voice of Kashmiris and their sentiments and genuine political demands. No objective will be achieved by suppressing the truth at the barrel of a gunpoint by seven lakh soldiers stationed in the small valley of Jammu and Kashmir.
Men like peace and dislike war. The Indian government has started a direct war in Kashmir against the Kashmiri people. Several people ruthlessly killed, thousands blinded with pellet guns, teachers targeted and killed, mosques locked on Fridays, human rights defenders slapped with Public Safety Act – is this not Indian terrorism at its peak? Anybody who dares to speak the truth or raise their voice against these atrocities is labelled a ‘terrorist’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘anti-national’ and what not.
The PDP-BJP coalition government has completely failed in handling the situation after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Burhan Wani. On the other hand, the voice of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination echoed louder in the United Nations (UN) and other international platforms. The internationalisation of the Kashmir issue is a result of the sacrifices made by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Hopefully, it will bring the desired results.
Many people no longer trust investigations and see the system’s commitments as hollow. The people of Kashmir must unite to take a stand and seek justice for the family of Shahid Ahmad Mir.
The author is a social activist from central Kashmir, Ganderbal district, presently Studying at Al Mustafa International University, Qom, Iran.