Recently Kashmir witnessed another cold blooded murder when 18 year old Farhat Dar was killed in alleged police firing at Naidkhai in Bandipora. Following massive protests, The state home department has asked district administration of Bandipora to submit its inquiry report into the death of Naidkhai youth within a month.
Every inquiry whether ordered by army or administration in Kashmir has been a mere eyewash. In fact, Kashmir has seen a entire breakdown of â€œJustice Systemâ€ as punishing the men in uniform is not a norm when it comes to killing of a common Kashmiri. From Gawakadal to Pathribal, Wamiq Farooq to Tufail Matto men in uniform have enjoyed complete impunity when it comes to killing of innocents in Kashmir.
It has been a norm that the right to protest is a perceived human right arising out of a number of very well recognized human rights and well defined in number of international covenants. The right to freedom of assembly can include the right to protest. Protest may be a manifestation of the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, and the right to freedom of speech. But, in the Valley of Kashmir, all these civilized notions have been reduced to mere bookish things, as protests and any form of dissent is badly quelled.
On ground zero, Kashmir has earned the soubriquet of being â€˜The worldâ€™s most militarized placeâ€™ because no other country has deployed more than 600,000 troops to establish its authority in a state. India made the most draconian laws in Kashmir that continue to dominate the so called safety parameters of the state even today. In 1990, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act came into existence, followed by the Disturbed Areas Act, 1992, the Public Safety Act 1978, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA 1985), now repealed, and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) 2002. It also made sure a disproportionate number of armed forces, thereby creating an overpowering ratio of one civilian for every six army personnel. Even in urban hubs like Srinagar or Anantnag, one gets to see one soldier stationed every 20 meter.
It is high time to settle Kashmir issue democratically rather than follow suppression based measures.