Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blood trade in Kashmir

Time to say Enough is Enough
Naseer A Ganai
The Government of India constantly accuses Pakistan of exporting terrorism. It also lays condition for the talks: That Pakistan should dismantle infrastructure of terror. After Mumbai incident the Government of India and civil society in India raised the issue of terrorism and said India is victim of terrorism. They raised their voice in unison and the World was forced to acknowledge it.
However, over the years despite being subjected to worst acts of terrorism, Kashmiri civil society has failed to project Kashmiri as victim.
On May 28 three youth from Baramulla district were lured by men who work with Army to border district Kupwara. They were promised handsome money. They needed the money. They readily agreed to work as porters with the Army. They were sold to Army at Rs 50,000 each by the blood traders. The Army killed them in gun fight projecting them as infiltrators. Unidentified infiltrators. They were buried in graveyard in Klaroos Kupwara. In the graveyard there are scores of unidentified graves. There is no need to guess who are buried in those graves. Their blood will too speak some day. Jo Chup Rahain Gi Zubani Khanjar-Lahoon Pukaray Ga Asteen Ka.
The three bodies were exhumed. They were not unidentified. Their parents identified them. They had all names: Riyaz Ahmad Lone, 19. Riyaz was sole bread earner of his family. He has aged father, four sisters and one brother. Eight years ago he has started construction of his house. Eight years on it is still without windows and without proper roof.
Muhammad Shafi 19. He has three sisters and brother. His mother said he went out on April 28. “I thought after an hour he will back and go for work in the fields. I never knew he has been buried on border.”
Shahazad, 25. He has 21 year old wife and 4 year old son. And aged parents. He along with two were working as labourers looking for jobs to feed their families. They were promised Rs 2000.
This is not first incident of its kind. There are scores of incidents on record. In the Courts of valley and Muslim dominated areas of Jammu you can find the similar cases. The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has scores such examples.
In 2001 Patheribal South Kashmir Army claimed to have killed five terrorists involved in the killing Chittisingpora massacre in which 36 sikhs were killed. The bodies of the terrorists were charred. They later turned out to be local residents of Barai Anang. Same happened in Ganderbal fake encounter case in which people were taken from South Kashmir and killed in Ganderbal.
In Doodhipora in February 2006 four cricket playing boys were killed and projected as foreign militants. The list is quite long.
Where on earth it happens that “you trade blood of human beings to get rewards and promotion.” Naseema the mother of Riyaz said had they demanded money from us we would have sold our land, we would have given them everything.
It is unacceptable. In 2010 different kind of human trafficking is taking place in Kashmir. It is worse than human trafficking. Here they promise poor labourers jobs and good money and then trade their blood. Has life so cheap in Kashmir?
The civil society in Kashmir must rise now and demand end of this human trafficking of Kshmiris. You can’t justify Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Public Safety Act, huge presence of force here in the name of “this infiltration” which means taking people from different places and killing them on line of control. No way. Time has come when we should too say- Enough is Enough.
Last month M.A Chowdary Principal District and Sessions judge Bandpora while hearing fake emcounter case had this to say: “Picking up of an innocent petty vendor on 2.3.2006 from a market of Srinagar City confining him for more than 12 days in police custody and then killing him before wee hours on 14th of March in a fake encounter which was described by the forces as “Bazipora Operation” and then dubbing him a militant from Muzaffarabad PoK cannot be said to be a reasonable connection between the act and the duties of the accused.”
“In the facts and circumstances of the case when a poor hawker was murdered in cold blood in a fake encounter “Bazipora Operation” for petty gains of receiving rewards, appreciation and to retain the postings of their choice can in no way be said to be within the authority of the accused-petitioners as the authority to use force even to the causing of death as provided under section 4 of the Armed Force Special Powers Act 1990 was permissible only in grave situation.”
There are disappearances in Kashmir. There are mass graves in Kashmir. Our oppressors know us by our scars and chains. They must now be forced acknowledge the crimes. The civil society of India is equally partner in the crimes committed by the State in Kashmir. Their reticence in the larger nation interest has emboldened the State. They must be told that we have had enough them as well. This can’t go on and on. They must be told that supporters of blood trade have no right to give lessons to Kashmiris on peace and reconciliation.
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