Taking a dig on the Coalition Government for its insensitive approach towards the hapless people of Kashmir, Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretary and MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Tuesday said that Government is using ‘Curfew and Lathi’ as oppressive tools to muzzle the voice of mourners in Shopian and Kulgam.
“People have right to mourn the death of innocent people. First, you kill them and then impose curfew, use lathi’s and harass people. What sort of Justice System is prevailing over here. Being the head of the State Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his government should unconditionally apologize to the people of Shopian,” he told reporters at a press conference in Srinagar on Tuesday.
He said that people in South Kashmir particularly in Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam are being harassed and humiliated by Security Forces. “I am continuously receiving phone calls from the people of Kulgam and Shopian who are narrating their woeful tales. “People are telling me how they are being harassed and insulted by men in uniform. How long this government and New Delhi would take people far granted. It would prove costly for them, if they don’t change their approach towards the people of Kashmir,” he said.
“We demand a time bound judicial enquiry to identify and punish the killers of civilians in Gagrain, Shopain. Police have now declared that three out of the four killed were civilians which corroborate the assertions of the locals there,” Tarigami said.
He also asked Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to announce a time bound judicial inquiry into the killings and express his condolences with the bereaved families as well as to the people in Shopain. He added that ex-gratia relief and employment on compassionate grounds should be provided to the next of the kin of the deceased.
“Government should apologize to the people in Shopain. The District administration (of Shopain) should talk to the representatives of Bar Association and civil society members to alleviate the sufferings of people there,” stated Tarigami while adding that the killings are ‘heinous’ and ‘condemnable.’
He also criticized the state government for resorting to curfews and restrictions to enforce calm in Shopain as well in adjacent Kulgam and Pulwama. He said that people would definitely take to streets when innocents are killed.
“The use of brute force by the authorities will have serious implications on the society. If government really wants to assuage the sufferings of the people there (in South Kashmir) then it should talk to them and heal their wounds,” suggested Tarigami.
Despite his demand for the judicial inquiry, Tarigami said that the justice system in J&K has ‘degraded, derailed’ and lost its credibility. He said that lack of accountability (in justice delivery system) gave a free hand to the killers of 120 civilians in the 2010 summer agitation.
“There were commissions constituted and inquiries ordered into the killings in 2010, but lack of accountability gave a free room to the culprits and they are still roaming free.
“Punishment under law to the accused would have sent a strong message to the law enforcing agencies and we would not have witnessed gory incidents being repeated here again,” added the CPI (M) leader.
Therefore, he said that the democratic forces and civil society of India should come forward and raise their concern over unabated killings as well bringing the culprits to the book.