Think Again

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Three days after 26-year-old Bashir Ahmad Bhat from Nawakadal was killed in CRPF firing a major part of Srinagar city continues to be under strict curfew. There seems to be no end to miseries of people who are forced to mourn the loss of their youngsters silently under the watchful eyes of men in uniform. It has become a norm to punish the entire population collectively for raising their voices against basic human rights violation like right to life.

It is no way a solution, rather it keeps the anger simmering among the helpless victims who feel caged and threatened by the very system that claims to protect them.

As people tried to take Bashir’s body for burial at martyrs’ graveyard in Old city, men in uniform fired tear smoke shells to disperse them.

In any civilized society people are spared in death. But this is Kashmir and there are no rules. It has become a thumb rule to come down heavily on protestors without showing any respect for the dead. In last two and half decades of conflict Kashmiris have gone through almost every conceivable painful moment that conflict can offer, but since 2008 the death of youngsters has shaken the society to its core. There are more graves of youngsters in martyrs’ graveyard then there were ever.

After every civilian killing that takes place in Kashmir the state machinery automatically goes into auto mode by coming down heavily on people who even try to mourn. There seems to be nobody among the government who really cares about these youngsters who put their lives in danger to get their dissenting voices across.

Had government shown any concern towards people then Bashir and other youngsters would have been alive and enjoying their youth. There is no excuse for taking a precious life. The idea of getting away after committing a heinous crime like killing an innocent soul, has given freehand to the men in uniform. Had there been punitive measures taken by the government then there would not have been such incidents at all.

But rather than siding with the people and being there in their hour of need government punishes them for getting killed innocently.

In last 25 years there were hundreds of commissions of enquiries ordered by different government but not even a single person was punished. In order to win peoples’ hearts and minds, that government claims to do during election rallies, they should share their pain rather than aggravate it by pushing them to the wall. The anger that Kashmir’s youngsters carry in their hearts will one day come out and put Kashmir on the brink of chaos once again. It is high time that government rein in the trigger happy men who are out there on the streets looking for young blood.

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