Kehwa Scandal!

Irtif Lone

Irtif-LoneAs if the tragedies in Kashmir were not enough, there was this latest ‘Kehwa’ scandal.  Kehwa which otherwise is a delicacy relished by almost every household has been demeaned. Now, people would think twice before asking for a cup of Kehwa, which tastes best with a pinch of Saffron.

Former Health minister Shabir Ahmad Khan, used his public office and authority to harass a lady doctor physically as well as mentally – can the standard of governing get lower than this? It’s not that Kashmir has not been witness to such things before but as a matter of fact we have seen mass murders and mass rapes which have been both brutal and inhuman.

In this case the victim has been brave enough to come forward and file an FIR against the minister, which doesn’t happen usually in a society like Kashmir. And the minister had to go into hiding and re-surfaced only after he was granted interim bail by the High Court. Police, as they said had no clue where the minister was hiding. And probably because there was a huge cry over the issue from all the quarters of the society, that there was need for the minister to go to the police station and present himself before the investigating officer, as per the court orders.

And the worst part is if a lady doctor, the class of women we consider empowered is not safe in this state, then who is?

There might have been many more such cases in which the victim could not muster the courage to fight or somehow realize the fact that the struggle would not bore any fruit. There would be no justice, not at least when the crime has been committed by someone holding a public office at the highest level in the state.

But the justice should have been that there are more stringent laws to punish people who hold public office. They are the ‘Law Makers’, and in many cases they are the ‘Law Breakers’. Misusing their power and not realizing that they are to serve the people and not to take advantage of their offices to get personal favors. In least not to harass or victimize people.

But, then to get justice in such cases is a Herculean task. While it takes people getting to roads and protesting, raising hue and cry against the injustices done before an FIR can be filed, as in this case was done only after the courts asked the police to do so. And not to talk of time it takes to deliver justice or sometimes otherwise, on the basis of lack of evidence.

How can one forget what happened to the ‘Infamous sex scandal’. When it came to the fore, everything almost came to a standstill, people protested and raised hue and cry over the issue forcing the government to take action and investigate. In the investigation primarily many names surfaced including many highly influential people. Such was the atmosphere that no lawyer in Kashmir was ready to defend these people whose names had come up. But then eventually, the case was shifted to Chandigarh and latter on everybody involved as per the investigation report was acquitted.

All we can do is hope that some justice is done in this case.

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