The state Marxist leader, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Saturday said that an introspection at all levels in the country is needed to find out reasons behind the emerging tendency of educated youth joining militant ranks in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Denial to a free political space, failure to administer justice to the families of victims of violence and complacency about the fleeting calm are a few important aspects which need to be introspected upon,” observed Tarigami, CPI (M) State Secretary while addressing a Round Table meeting organized by the Centre for Policy Analysis in Srinagar.
Referring to over 110 killings that took place during 2010 summer unrest, the CPI (M) leader said question can be posed that why the criminal investigations in these mostly unprovoked incidents of violence have not been concluded and culprits brought to justice even in a single case during the last three years.
“Three years have passed and justice still eludes the families who have lost their near and dear ones during 2010,” he said. “What happened to the Commission of Inquiry which was mandated to probe 17 killings only? And why was this commission given only 17 killings to probe when we lost over a 110 youth? Has a single case been solved sofar?”
Tarigami observed that initiatives taken after 2010 civilian unrest that include eight-point recommendations announced by central government also proved to be a half-hearted exercise. “A lot of lip service was paid to heal the wounds, but precious little was practically done to honour the commitment. Pathetic plight and callous neglect of a plethora of recommendations made by interlocutors have been gathering dust,” he said.
One can ask the political leadership of the country, he said, that what happened to decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee of Security that recommended to the state government to convene a meeting of the Unified Command to review the notification of disturbed areas.
“This serious confidence building measure which was supposed to heal the scars of people has been reduced to mere sloganeering. Otherwise, law and order being the state subject, the state cabinet can meet and assess the situation,” the Marxist leader said. “Also if there is a political will, the state government could de-notify areas as ‘not disturbed’ and thereby making application of AFSPA redundant.”
Similarly, Tarigami lamented that the misuse of Public Safety Act in Kashmir. “In its eight point recommendations, the Cabinet Committee on Security had also advised the state government to immediately review the cases of all PSA detenues and withdraw the detention orders in appropriate cases,” he said.
“Here, I would like to quote a similar case of my own constituency Kulgam. Sabzar Ahmad Bhat a resident of Sofipora Daderkoot district Kulgam is a surrendered militant who has been booked in some criminal cases. He has been in jail for the last over six and half years now,” he told meeting.
Bhat, he said, has been acquitted by the honorable court and granted bail in all 8 FIRs registered against him. But when he was to be released, he has again been booked under PSA on June 12, 2013. “What to do in such kind of a situation? This young man has not been released once to meet his hapless old aged parents who have not left any stone unturned to get their bread earner out from jail,” he said.
The eight point announcement was followed by appointment of interlocutors who made some recommendations but till date no action has been taken either by the state or the central government and the report prepared by the group is gathering dust.
“People in Kashmir are living in a suffocating atmosphere. Even peaceful dissent is not tolerated and gross injustices go unpunished. Almost all channels of communication have been blocked and means of protest is being suppressed ruthlessly,” he said.
What is more worrying is that, he said, the youth is being targeted mercilessly. And yet if someone, does not understand or willfully chooses to ignore the real cause and shuts one’s eyes to its inevitable consequences the overall situation is bound to deteriorate rather than coming to normal.
“Whichever, political party comes in power in Delhi hardly matters for the people of Kashmir. What the people of Kashmir hope is that the political and democratic opinion across the country is mobilized for providing justice to the people. The democratic forces of the country need to come out of slumber before it is too late,” he said.