Expressing his deep shock over the brutal killing of two innocent youth, at Markundal near Sumbal in Bandipora district, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Sunday said the incident once again exposed the sorry state of affairs prevailing in the state.
Addressing a workers convention at Yaripora in Kulgam district, he said firmans like the one that require permits for locals to visit Pahalgam and Sonmarg only deepen alienation and reinforce feelings of dis empowerment.
Mufti said army’s firing in the area was totally unwarranted and reflected how deeply the culture of impunity had become entrenched in the state. Strongly condemning the incident, Mufti regretted that such barbaric incidents seemed unstoppable for the present dispensation. He said it is now becoming increasingly clear that the state government had lost all control on the situation.
PDP patron said on the one hand people of the state were going out of their way to give democratic process a chance but on the other hand more wounds were caused to them by agencies of the state. He said the state was presenting a picture of lawlessness where everybody, whether an unknown gunman or a security personnel entrusted with the duty of protecting lives can get away with atrocities. “This is not the idea of India that we want people of the state to subscribe to” added Mufti. Today’s killing of two youth has once again validated PDP’s view that army has to be relocated from the civilian areas and there has to be gradual demilitarization of civilian space Mufti said.
Mufti said as long as justice eludes the aggrieved people, the impression of peace and calm will remain deceptive and fragile. He said it seems the rights enshrined in the constitution of the country remain restricted beyond the borders of the state and ” my fight will continue till the people of J&K receive justice and a fair deal.”
Mufti said we are not struggling for mere power though that is a required tool for changing the lives of people, but our effort is to make our voice count and our rights safeguarded. We have to utilise all democratic and peaceful means to make the centre listen to the serious issues we face and address them not as charity or anger management tactic but as our inalienable right. “We will need to engage the centre seriously and with all our determination and people’s support to end the uncertainty and no power on earth can deny us our rights and an accountable system if we remain focused on democratic and constitutional means” said Mufti adding the atrocities like the latest one at Sumbal should reinforce our resolve to end the official repression through peaceful methods.
Expressing solidarity with the bereaved families of Irfan and Irshad, the two innocent youth who lost lives in today’s incident Mufti said the tragedy has devastated two more families and no words can compensate their loss. He said the PDP has for many years been struggling for revoking laws that provide immunity to personnel responsible for such avoidable violence. ” We needed laws like AFSPA when the state was bristling with thousands of gun wielding youth but not any more when such laws are proving counterproductive as today’s shocking incident highlights once again” he said.
Referring to the diktat that anyone wanting to visit Pahalgam or Sonmarg should carry a permit Mufti said even the British did not practice such apartheid. He said such foolish firmans only expose the deep insecurity of the present rulers and their insensitivity towards the people of Kashmir. “No go areas are totally unacceptable” he said.
Mufti said at a time when we are struggling to demolish the wider barriers like the LOC to liberate our people from the state of siege the government is creating more internal and narrower lines of control. He said such atrocious acts as have been witnessed recently like the earlier one banning school picnics only provide a peep into the thought process of the government. “It is complete anarchy that is leading to a collapse of institutions and sought to be sustained through police or external lifelines. The government has amply established that J&K is in very unsafe hands and a change is inevitable” said Mufti.