Archive for the ‘State Violence’ Category

By Sheshu Babu*

Living with deformity is very difficult. The degree of difficulty varies with the intensity of disability and its impact on people. One of the vital parts of human body is the eye. So, a disease or injury to the eye or eyes has a significant impact on lives of people. The use of pellets in Kashmir has caused loss of sight to many people, specially children and youth who are facing physical and psychological problems.
According to a study by the Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, Kashmir,at least 85% of pellet victims have developed psychiatric disorders. The study titled ‘Psychiatric Morbidity in Pellet Injury Victims of Kashmir Valley’ puts depression at the top of the list with 25.79% suffering from this disorder followed by adjustment disorder with 15.79%, post-traumatic stress disorder (9.21%) and anxiety disorders (9%).
Doctors examined 380 pellet victims after the uprising of 2016. Among the victims, 92.92% have eye injuries and 70% other injuries.

Serious problem

The study may not be comprehensive but it certainly reflects the gravity of the problem and need for serious attention. The victims are mostly students and youth who dream of bright future. Their aspirations have been cut short by using ‘non- lethal’ weapons and inflicting ‘ lethal’ damage.

The victims who lost partial or total vision need help from parents, close relatives and friends as well as ophthalmologists and psychiatrists. The problems faced by blind from birth and those who lost vision due to pellet injuries are different. The pellet victim has to adjust to new conditions.
The person frequently thinks of the condition when he or she could see the world and move freely before darkness engulfed throwing normal life out of gear. This state causes enormous mental trauma and leads to deep pessimism and depression. Therefore, people close to the victim should keep constant vigil and give assurances and kind words of optimism to cheer and come out of the bouts of deep depression.
Society should come forward and accept the victims by inviting them to parties and meets so that their loneliness is driven out. They should be given training in vocational and non- vocational jobs for independent living with freedom.
Many women affected by pellets face added suffering of patriarchy, oppression, apathy and indifference from society. They need the help of psychiatrist all the more. There have been cases of married women abandoned by their husbands. They need protection and support.

Activists and volunteers

Since little can be expected from the present government, the role of activists, volunteers and human rights organizations becomes very crucial. It is deplorable that pellet guns are still being used despite causing suffering to thousands of Kashmiris. The number of affected persons is rising.

Recently, pellet victims held a protest and demanded ban on use of pellet guns under the banner of the  Pellet Victims Welfare Trust. People from all over the country should join them in solidarity and bring pressure to stop using such methods causing misery to young lives in the state. Rehabilitation and medical care should also be included in the demands by the victims.

Police Deny Claim Of Slain Civilian’s Dad

Srinagar:

The father of the civilian killed during an encounter late Thursday night in Pulwama district has accused security forces of “using his sons as human shields”. Brothers Rayees and Younis Ahmed Dar were dragged out of their house late Thursday night (May 16) by security forces as the family prepared for ‘sehri’ at about 2.30am, Jalaluddin Dar said.

He said armymen used his sons to flush out militants holed up in a neighbouring house that belonged to Ghulam Hassan Dar. “My wife, my daughter-in-law and I… we tried to resist but the soldiers took me out of the home as well,” the 67-year-old said.

“I told them I’ll come with you, let my sons go, but they took me as well. They took my sons in different directions. I was taken in another. They ordered my sons to ask our neighbours to come out of their houses,” Jalaluddin recalled.

Younis, who was also hurt, said, “No sooner had Rayees knocked on the door of the house next to ours, another man, masked, told Rayees and me to go to the house of Ghulam Hassan Dar, which is the third house from ours. I was a little distance away. The moment Rayees knocked on Ghulam Hassan’s door and asked them to come out, lights in the house went out. Gunshots were heard from inside. This perhaps killed the soldier from the search party. In the exchange of fire, my brother was killed, I took a bullet on the thigh.”

In Thursday’s encounter, security forces killed two Jaish terrorists at Dalipora village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama. A police officer had initially said three soldiers and two civilians, brothers Younis and Rayees Ahmad Dar, were injured. But Rayees died at the encounter site, and his brother Younis was taken to a nearby hospital from where he was referred to a Srinagar hospital, the officer said. All three terrorists were killed. Jalaluddin added: “The soldiers ordered me to lift an armyman who I carried on my back till some 200 yards away from the site though it was still dangerous.”

J&K police have denied the family’s claim. “As police and security forces were evacuating civilians from the neighbourhood around the target house, the hiding militants fired indiscriminately. One Army jawan, Sepoy Sandeep, was killed and one civilian Rayees Dar also lost his life,” a police statement said.

Rayees Dar (26, in pic) was killed in the Pulwama encounter on Thursday. His brother Younis took a bullet on the thigh

Co-Written by Meer Abass & Aurangzeb Arif

” to ask the victim what lies beneath the misery “

” They say , I was never a part of this world ‘

Ever been to lanes of mockery, then you find what it takes the decorum of disgrace. The infamous rape of a girl child by the demonic 50 year old beast has made me confused ,how to jot down the lines of my anger. I wish to write but it is choking my veins, I try to vent my tears, but they don’t profuse due to the shock. The temporal of sufi tagging to this land has become a notion of namesake only. People curse the technology and modernization for such disgrace ful activities , but within deep everyone knows these brutal structures of rape has a history of purchase from the time of legalized enslaved minds. What makes a old soul to rape a new bud, what tag of lust angle one will put for it, shall I call it a deprived sexual intimacy of old account beast , shall I call it conservative estimate of such doings , shall I call it manic depression episode , shall I call it bad luck of a girl child. I don’t know what to sum or what to put for it, but one thing is that history has been created in the hall of shame in this land. From provisions of Intifada to galore of unfurling islamic flag in this region, how many of we in actual are prepared for such law dominance here, presumably the laws of humanity doesn’t need an introduction for being a religious soul, it needs a simple orientation of mind analysis as what is the supreme goal of one’s soul. I imagine the burst of pain with which that girl child would be having psychologically and the abuse of social norms inflicted on her by the society in coming times. The rabid dog might be punished for such doing , but who will pay for the loss of such child’s life ? A society that gambles and watches porn in the lanes of their lonely planet, a society that rugs the shovels of phone sex and assumes the slogans of religious fervour in the morning.  Time has come to take a stand on child rapes where a male and female child is raped either on the pretext of exorcism by the saints of disgrace or by the beasts of such society. There is no difference between sex incest rape mongering activities and rest of india , where the only difference is , that in kashmir it is crept under the carpet and in rest of india it is raised in open. Introspection is needed for the good riddance of such manic insane beasts from the society.

The incident that sent shock waves across Kashmir came to light on Tuesday when a sopore minor girl narrated her harrowing experience to her family when she was raped by a “Shaitan Numa insaan “who is of his grandfather’s age. As per the complaint, the accused took the minor girl, a Class 8th student, in his Rickshaw and raped her.

Women in Kashmir too are not safe anywhere – at home, the workplace or on the streets. And this is despite the fact that incidents of violence against women regularly make the headlines now a days in newspapers, especially since the brutal gang rape of Asiya and Nelofar.
Rape is completely forbidden in Islamic law and is a crime punishable by death
In Islam, capital punishment is reserved for the most extreme crimes: those that harm individual victims or destabilize society. Rape falls into both categories. Islam takes very seriously the honor and protection of women, and the Quran repeatedly reminds men to treat women with kindness and fairness.

Some people confuse Islamic law by equating rape with sex outside of marriage, which is instead adultery or fornication. However, throughout Islamic history, some scholars have classified rape as a form of terrorism or a crime of violence (hiraba).

During the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, a rapist was punished based on only the testimony of the victim. Wa’il ibn Hujr reported that a woman publicly identified a man who had raped her. The people caught the man and brought him to the Prophet Muhammad. He told the woman to go—that she was not to be blamed—and ordered that the man be put to death.

At a time when every politician, no matter what colour, is crying foul, every judge and lawyer, no matter what their loyalties, is joining the chorus, every policeperson, no matter from where, is adding his/her voice, it is worth remembering some key things. First, more than 90 per cent of rapes are committed by people known to the victim/survivor, a staggering number of rapists are family members. When we demand the death penalty, do we mean therefore that we should kill large numbers of uncles, fathers, brothers, husbands, neighbours? How many of us would even report cases of rape then? What we’re seeing now — the slow, painful increase in even reports being filed — will all disappear. Second, the death penalty has never been a deterrent against anything — where, for example, is the evidence that death penalties have reduced the incidence of murders? Quite apart from the fact that the State should never be given the right to take life, there is an argument to be made that imposing the death penalty will further reduce the rate of conviction, as no judge will award it.

It is important to raise our collective voice against rape. But rape is not something that occurs by itself. It is part of the continuing and embedded violence in society that targets women on a daily basis. Let’s raise our voices against such violence and let’s ask ourselves how we, in our daily actions, in our thoughts, contribute to this, rather than assume that the solution lies with someone else. Let’s ask ourselves how we, our society, we as people, create and sustain the mindset that leads to rape, how we make our men so violent, how we insult our women so regularly, let’s ask ourselves how privilege creates violence.

It is important we raise our collective voice for women, but let’s raise it for all women, let’s raise it so that no woman, no matter that she be poor, rich, urban, rural, Muslim, Hindu, or whatever, ever, in the future, has to face sexual violence, and no man assumes that because of the system and people’s mindsets, he can simply get away with it. And let’s raise it also for men, for transgenders, for the poor.

Meer Abass, Assistant professor, Govt Degree College Handwara

Aurangzeb Arif, Freelance writer.

Representational Image

April 12

Shabir Khan

Amid a moderate voter turn-out in North of Kashmir that went to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha Polls, the Hajin township saw empty polling booths, armed men in riot gears, deserted streets.

 

In Hajin township of Bandipora, Sources said, Out of 1800 votes, only 02 votes were polled in 03 polling stations, while in Sopore’s Brath Kalan which a home to 6 Local Militants, no vote was polled at all.

The family of Mudasir Rashid Parray alias Mudasir Billa in Hajin area in Hajin town in Bandipora choose to stay indoors and avoid the public glare. “We did not want to see people deceiving the blood of Mudasir, his teenage blood still is on the ground, how can they vote,” his father told The Kashmiriyat.

“We did not want people to run over the blood of our son, who sacrificed his life for the people of Kashmir, he was young, he was hopeful and had dreams, ours ended with him,” his father said.

Mudasir’s Family lives in a single room with heart patient mother Fareeda, father is a chronic patient, handicapped brother and a little sister. Fareeda his mother, is still in grief and Shock that her son has been killed.

“Mudasir was not my son only, but a hope, Lone bread earner who would also work as a labourer on part time basis to help the family financially as my another son is handicapped,” Fareeda told The Kashmiriyat.

On 5th December last year, a daunting picture went Viral on Social Media in which 14 year old Cute Boy holding an AK-47 in one hand and and Knife in another. Mudasir a resident of Khankah Mohalla of Hajin town along with 16 year old Saqib Bilal had gone missing from home on 31 August this year after an encounter took place in Hajin town in which three Foreign Militants were Killed.

Five days after his picture went on social media holding with AK- 47, Mudasir Billa, who was the youngest Militant in he history of Armed struggle in Jammu Kashmir was killed during an encounter in Mujgund belt of Srinagar on a cold December night last year.

Fareeda while wailing said “Doudh haa cheey wyn praaczan lour’uy, waey, Baa karay ghoor ghooro. The milk is still on your lips, Let me cradle you, You are still to drink my milk, Let me cradle you.”

His sister, Maimoona in corner of his single room broke into tears, said that she was so happy that Mudasir will afford all her expenses and will fulfill her all dreams as her another brother is handicapped, but all dreams crashed the day Mudasir’s bullet ridden body reached her courtyard.

Mudasir was first arrested during during 2016 unrest in a Stone Pelting case and was lodged in a police station Hajin for over a week, he was later released after counselling. Mudasir, as per locals, joined Militant ranks after the killing of their close relative Abid Mir in Sopore who was killed in an encounter.

Here in Hajin, elections are being seen as a farce process, “They come and take votes from us, do nothing, and in a larger context, India is selling these votes as votes against the popular Freedom movement,” Abdul Rashid Bhat told The Kashmiriyat as he looked towards the gate of the an empty election booth.

Hajin township in North Kashmir, Out of 1800 votes, only 02 votes were polled in 03 polling stations during the first phase of seven phased Lok Sabha Election, though no protest was reported from the area, but people stayed indoors and choose to  stay away from what they call “Bogus” elections.

In Tangmarg, Baramulla District, the mood is different, people are lining up outside the polling stations hiding their faces from cameras, which Abdu Rashid Shah, a local teacher believes is an element of shame attached to voting in Kashmir. “People hiding their faces from media and cameras says it all, they know it is shameful to vote here,” he thinks.

However, Ghulam Nabi Dar, a local shopper, who is a retired teacher feels otherwise, he feels it is unfair to link elections to Azadi. “I am more ‘Azadi Pasand’ than Hurriyat, but voting is for something else, Do i vote against Azadi? Logically.! No… There is no Azadi button on that voting machine, which i do not choose,” he says, adding that, narratives cannot be forced.

”we need to have a space for dialogue and various narratives and if we want to enforce our narratives on everyone, then i feel we are better off with India, because that is what is happening in India, popular narrative is thee only acceptable narrative, if we need freedom, we need to give freedom,” Abdul Rashid said while speaking to The Kashmiriyat.

Though the overall, voting percentage remained low, people did come out to vote defying the separatist calls, who remained low profile for the first during elections, in fact Militant leadership took a front on the boycott call. In Palhalan, 84 votes have been polled in 4 polling booths with total electorate of 3979 till 3 PM.

The overall voting percentage in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls 2019 in North Kashmir was recorded a total of 32 percent polling.

 

GENEVA (14 June 2018) – There is an urgent need to address past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and deliver justice for all people in Kashmir, who for seven decades have suffered a conflict that has claimed or ruined numerous lives, a report by the UN Human Rights Office published on Thursday says.

The 49-page report – the first ever issued by the UN on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir – details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, and highlights a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces.

“The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

“This is why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and provide redress for victims,” he said.

“It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir,” said Zeid.

Noting the continuing serious tensions in recent weeks, including those stemming from a series of incidents in Srinagar, he called on Indian security forces to exercise maximum restraint, and strictly abide by international standards governing the use of force when dealing with future protests, including ones that could well occur this coming weekend.

“It is essential the Indian authorities take immediate and effective steps to avoid a repetition of the numerous examples of excessive use of force by security forces in Kashmir,” Zeid said.

The UN Human Rights Office – which, despite repeated requests to both India and Pakistan over the past two years, has not been given unconditional access to either side of the Line of Control – undertook remote monitoring to produce the report, which covers both Indian-Administered Kashmir and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.

The main focus of the report is the human rights situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir from July 2016 – when large and unprecedented demonstrations erupted after Indian security forces killed the leader of an armed group – to April 2018.

Indian security forces used excessive force that led to unlawful killings and a very high number of injuries, the report says, citing civil society estimates that up to 145 civilians were killed by the security forces between mid-July 2016 and the end of March 2018, with up to 20 other civilians killed by armed groups in the same period.

One of the most dangerous weapons used against protesters in 2016 – and which is still being employed by security forces – was the pellet-firing shotgun. According to official figures, 17 people were killed by shotgun pellets between July 2016 and August 2017, and 6,221 people were injured by the metal pellets between 2016 and March 2017. Civil society organizations believe that many of them have been partially or completely blinded.

“Impunity for human rights violations and lack of access to justice are key human rights challenges in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the report says, noting that the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) and the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act 1978 (PSA) have “created structures that obstruct the normal course of law, impede accountability and jeopardize the right to remedy for victims of human rights violations.”

The AFSPA prohibits prosecution of security forces personnel unless the Indian Government grants prior permission to prosecute. “This gives security forces virtual immunity against prosecution for any human rights violation. In the nearly 28 years that the law has been in force in Jammu and Kashmir there has not been a single prosecution of armed forces personnel granted by the central government,” the report says.

There is also almost total impunity for enforced or involuntary disappearances, with little movement towards credibly investigating complaints, including into alleged sites of mass graves in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region.

Chronic impunity for sexual violence also remains a key concern in Kashmir.  An emblematic case is the Kunan-Poshpora mass rape 27 years ago when, according to survivors, soldiers gang-raped 23 women. “Attempts to seek justice have been denied and blocked over the years at different levels,” the report says.

The report also points to evidence that the armed groups that have operated in Jammu and Kashmir since the late 1980s have committed a wide range of human rights abuses, including kidnappings and killings of civilians and sexual violence. Despite the Government of Pakistan’s denial of any support for these groups, the report notes that a number of experts have concluded that Pakistan’s military continues to support their operations across the Line of Control.

The report also examines a range of human rights violations in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir which, according to the report, are of a different calibre or magnitude and of a more structural nature. In addition, the report says, restrictions on freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and in Gilgit-Baltistan have limited the ability to obtain information about the situation.

Among the issues highlighted in the report is the constitutional relationship of these two “distinct territories” with Pakistan. AJK has effectively been controlled by Pakistan throughout its entire history. Pakistan’s federal authorities also have full control over all government operations in Gilgit-Baltistan, and federal intelligence agencies are reportedly deployed across both regions.

The impact of Pakistani counter-terrorism operations on human rights is detailed in the report, which notes the concerns of the UN Human Rights Committee at the “very broad definition of terrorism laid down in the Anti-Terrorism Act.” The report quotes a respected national NGO that found hundreds of people had been imprisoned under the Act in Gilgit-Baltistan, and that it was being used to target locals who were raising issues related to people’s human rights.

Among its recommendations, the report calls on India and Pakistan to fully respect their international human rights law obligations in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir respectively.

India should urgently repeal the AFSPA; establish independent, impartial and credible investigations to probe all civilian killings since July 2016 and all abuses committed by armed groups; and provide reparations and rehabilitation to all injured individuals and to the families of those killed in the context of security operations. Similarly, the PSA should be amended to ensure its compliance with international human rights law, and all those held under administrative detention should either be charged or immediately released.

The report urges Pakistan to end the misuse of anti-terror legislation to persecute those engaging in peaceful political and civil activities and those who express dissent. The sections of the AJK interim constitution that limit the rights to freedoms of expression and opinion, and peaceful assembly and association should be amended. Any political activists, journalists and others convicted for peacefully expressing their opinions should be immediately released. The constitutions of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan should also be amended to end the criminalization of Ahmadiyya Muslims.

ENDS

The full report is available on the India and Pakistan pages on the OHCHR website.

B-roll video of the High Commissioner speaking about the report here.

Audio of the High Commissioner here.

For more information and media requests, please contact Rupert Colville – + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org or Liz Throssell – + 41 22 917 9466 / ethrossell@ohchr.org.

2018 is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70thanniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rightswww.standup4humanrights.org.

 

On 15 March 1929, Sir Albino Banerjee, a Bengali Christen, who for two years had been  Foreign and Political Minister of   Maharaja Hari Singh had observed that the rulers had been treating “Mohammadan population” worst than “cattle.”  Ninety years later, when the idea of governance in the world has undergone a sea change,andcolonialism has crashed themindset of those in the corridors of “hegemonic authority” in the state has not changed. That the ‘ruling elite’ even in the second decade of the twenty-first century considered the people of Kashmir as wild quadrupeds weremanifest in 2010when for silencing the dissenting youth it introduced guns meant for hunting of animals. And allowed troops to use the same with impunity in the state.Ironically, the pellet gun with its single cartridge spewing about five hundred lead-pellets on a finger touch was added to the deadly arsenal of the state as a ‘non-lethal weapon’by the ‘central government’.Of course with the consentof Omar Abdullah thethen chief of the unified military command in the state.  The   5.5 mm wadcutter, domed (round nose), hollow point and pointed lead pellets are deadlier than those used in air guns for animals. Intriguingly, Kashmir is the only place where this weapon is used for controlling thecivilian protest.

In 2010, summer hundred and twenty-sixchildren and youth were killed by thetroops and the state police, thousands wounded and injured,  some fired with pellets in the face and eyes lost their vision. The state using all coercive tactics in its arsenal and brute force in dealing with the situation that across the world was recognized as Kashmir ‘Intifada’had stirred the international media and caused editorials and reports in almost 1800 newspapers and web portals across the globe. It also had pin pricked the conscience of scores of conscientious citizen and writers in India. The killings of children, the insensitivity of the state and the impunity that soldiers have been enjoying under the Armed Forces Special Powers Actdeeply moved some writers and set them to rethink about New Delhi’s policies in Jammu and Kashmir.In fact, many of them  concluded  that “after six decades of effort, Kashmir’s alienation looks greater than ever before.” Some of themthrough their writings had endeavored to update the knowledge ofa new generation about the Kashmir problem that had caused four wars between India and Pakistan andtaken atoll of ‘country’s economy-  half ofthe population of India’s population has been living below the poverty line.Swaminathan S Aiyar had written, “Many Indians say that Kashmir legally became an integral part of India when the Maharaja of the state signed the instrument of accession. Alas, such legalisms become irrelevant when ground realities change. Indian kings and princes, including the Moguls, acceded to the British Raj. The documents they signed became irrelevant when Indians launched an independence movement.  The British insisted for a long time that India was an integral part of their Empire, the Jewel in its crown, and would never be given up. Imperialist Blimps remained in denial for decades. I fear we are in similar denial on Kashmir.”

The uprisings during the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010, had convinced even a section of leadership in India like P. Chidambaram, the then Home Minister that the laws like the AFSPA, seen as the darkest of darklaws by people of the state need tobe withdrawn. Nevertheless, the lessons learned that the coercive tactics and brutish handling of the resistance instead of improving the situations complicate itfurther, andthe dialogue was the only way forwardof resolving the problem by adoptinga policy of denying even an inch of space to the voices of the dissent in the statewere unlearned after 2014. Instead of instilling some faith in youth through hate media blitzby some televisions channels they have been and are being driven to the wall.

In the recent past 2016 has been the grisliest year, the New York Times had rightly observed that in the history of Kashmir it would pass as the year of “Dead Eyes Epidemic.” In that year thousands of children with ‘eyes ruptured’ by lead pellets fired by paramilitary troops and police ‘armed with pump-actionshotguns’were brought to the hospitals- in fact, hospitals could not accommodate all those injured with pellets.   More than thirteen hundred suffered impaired vision,andhundreds of others pelleted to blindness pushed into darkness for rest of their life. From important newspapers in the world to the Amnesty International to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights every organization concerned about the human rights violations raised their voice against blinding of children and demanded to ban of the pellet guns. Even, the National Human Right Commission defending human right records of India before the UN Commission on Human Rights had described the use of pellet gun during 2016 turmoil as “controversial.”

For past three years, the UN Human Rights Commission has been showing concern about the human rights situation in the state and asking Islamabad and New Delhi for providing unbridled access to the state on both the sidesof the transitory dividing line.  Interestingly, despite,   voices raised in various international forums against the use of pellet gun on civilian protestors and blinding of children as young as four years, boys and girls nightmares of ‘epidemic of dead-eyes’  continue to haunt people. In fact, the ground situation during past three years has not changed.   Roughlysixty to seventy peoplewerehit with pellets, many in the face and the chest in past twenty days in April only.  Hardly, there is a day when stories with headings like “Kashmir’s many Inshas and their dark, shattered lives” or “Kashmir pellet injuries bring back memories of 2016” are not reported in the newspapers.

New Delhi, despite having assured abandoning the use of the pellet has not so far responded to the clarion calls from international human rights organizations. Troops continue to empty shotguns on juvenile protestors as shooting ducks.   In this tormenting bizarre scenario some days back a word of experience was distinctly visible in the statement of Army Chief, candidly saying that not the gun but ‘dialogue’ was a way forward. It is high time, for the present dispensation in New Delhi to pick up the word of experience and make a beginning for initiating a dialogue with all the internationally recognized contestingparties to the Dispute by revoking the AFSPA and retreating the pellet gun.

Z. G .MUHAMMAD
Columnist and Writer
Srinagar,
Kashmir.
www.peacewatchkashmir.com