Façade of democracy in JK unmasked
Naseer A Ganai
The Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar has demolished mainstream politics in Jammu and Kashmir forever. In his historical press conference Sagar on Sunday June 27, talked what no other politician has talked in recent years. He addressed press shortly after reports of a killing of youth in Sopore by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). That day there was no protest in Sopore. Sagar said some 20 people had assembled to protest and it didn’t deserve to be fired upon. He said the State Government has no control over the CRPF.
“That New Delhi must listen to the State government and protect interests of the Country in Jammu and Kashmir. Five youth were killed in series of incidents involving CRPF and it was not a good thing. That we want rule with dignity,” Sagar said.
Sagar said that CRPF has lost command and control and the issue must be seriously looked into. That Chief Minister being head of the Unified Command Council has given clear directions to the forces to exercise restraint and protect human rights but despite it these incidents were taking place. That they (CRPF) are working against interest of country and this should not happen at any cost.” Sagar pleaded to the Home Minister of the Government of India to visit Kashmir and prevail upon its forces to not to go for kill in Kashmir. Sagar said that his party couldn’t fight its own people.
These were candid confessions. Over the years the separatists were describing the pro-India politicians in the State as puppets of New Delhi. By asking New Delhi to control its forces in Kashmir who according to Law Minister Sagar are on killing spree here, he proved separatists right. That it is New Delhi which calls shots in Kashmir, no matter whether Omar is Chief Minister, or Mufti.
In Mufti’s time the New Delhi went all against the Permanent Residence (disqualification) bill which was debars a female marrying to non-State subject. Delhi construed introduction of the bill and its passage without discussion as challenge to its authority in Kashmir and it did everything to sabotage its passage in Upper House of JK Assembly.
In one of the speeches during a debate on the bill in Assembly the then Law Minister Muzaffer Baig said “Who says Kashmiris have ruled Jammu and Kashmir State since 1947. We have been always at the beck and call of New Delhi,” the angry Baig said. Sagar echoed same words but this time he was more specific. That the “elected Government” has no control over troops deployed by New Delhi to control masses in Jammu and Kashmir. That New Delhi must steps in to save the “elected govt” from the people who has “elected” it.
Even though Chief Minister Omar Abdullah later retracted from statement of his Law Minister, cat was out of the bag. This time forever! Next day the Home Secretary the Government of India strongly defended Central Forces and commended them for their job. As it was not enough after some days in order to justify the innocent killing the Home Minister described protests in Kashmir as backed by Lashker. Thus, justifying bullet for a stone. But whatever reaction from the Government of India, it has clear now that the “Law and Order” is the subject dealt by the Home Ministry. The Development by the Governor. The Governor recently ordered that all secretaries of should report to him about the progress of the development work under Prime Minister Reconstruction Programme. The Prime Minister convened a meeting. They called high level Kashmir Meeting. They only discussed yatra. Though no had issued any statement against yatris or yatra, the Government of India through its friendly media tried to project protests against human rights abuses in Kashmir as protests against Yatra. In such circumstances what is the role of elected government in JK? The Government which has no control over troop! Even puppets at times enjoy much greater power. Sagar Sahib, you have done great job. You have proved Baig right that you are like Baig at the beck and call of New Delhi.
But what is this Mehbooba Mufti saying. That her investment in peace has been shuttered by your “government’s” lack of Governance? Tell her we don’t govern in JK, it is Home Ministry always. Tell her that even constable on ground doest’t listen to us. Tell her what peace investment you are talking about. Remind her that PDP rule too was not differnt in Kashmir. That was not devoid of killings. Remind her rape of mother and daughter. Tell her that you made candid confession on Sunday that Omar is not in control just like Baig had said in 2004 that mainstream are at the beck and call of New Delhi. That is truth of the mainstream. That is truth of elections in JK. Sagar tell everyone that you unmasked the facade of democracry in JK. But tell them you will cling to your job, what if someone else is in command and control. That doesn't bother you least.