JAMMU: Ex-gratia to next of kin of those killed during over four-month Kashmir unrest has raised many eyebrows; except of the political class, including the BJP, which showed unprecedented convergence while listening to the logic being given by the Chief Minister in Legislative Assembly.
So far, the nation was being told that those indulging in Kashmir violence had waged a war against the state by targeting the uniformed soldiers, security personnel and police. They were chanting slogans of destroying the nation. Carrying Pakistan flags, they had held peace hostage to their whims and fancies. While quelling the violent protests, several persons got killed. This is truth of the four-month strife in the Valley. The myth is something which is getting unfolded now after calm is prevailing in the Valley due to element of fatigue.
By agreeing to pay ex-gratia, the government has virtually admitted that those killed during the unrest were innocents. Compensation is not paid to enemies of nation or the peace-breakers. Strangely, the ex-gratia and the jobs have been committed before the findings of Special Investigation Team, which is yet to be set up. If the government has reached a conclusion before investigation then where is the need for a probe panel.
While announcing the slew of measures being taken for rehabilitation of those killed or injured during the Kashmir unrest, the Chief Minister has given an account of the damages caused during over 120 days of trauma and turbulence across the Valley. During this period, 16 incidents of weapon looting from security forces have taken place while over 4,500 personnel of police and security forces were injured while safeguarding the life and property of the people. Who took away the weapons? Who injured thousands of security personnel? Who damaged over 50 police and security camps?
The Chief Minister draws a parallel between the unrest of 2010 and 2016, saying in 2010 children used to go to the shops to get their eatables and food items even for toffees because shops were opened. Despite that young men got killed. But in 2016, she says, “There was an “atmosphere, in which on one side there was imposition of curfew, on other side there was shutdown and on the third side there was call of assemblies (‘chalo’ call)…. Children used to come out and they were being forced to be part of rally. … Who was happy that these things should happen?” The Chief Minister has not stated as to who the instigators were and how many of them have been identified and arrested. There are no credible complaints from the parents of those killed about their children having been forced to take part in the street violence. Every day the killed boys are being eulogized as martyrs. Nobody ever complained that young victims of the bullets had in fact been taken as human shields by the perpetrators of street violence. In fact, the Chief Minister herself had spoken out the truth on 25 August 2016 in presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh by asking that “those hit by bullets or pellets had not gone to fetch milk or toffees”.
“Had a kid gone to buy a toffee from an army camp? A 15-year-old boy who attacked a police station (in south Kashmir), had he gone to buy milk? Don’t compare the two,” the Chief Minister had told a press conference, inferring that the boys actually indulged in violence.
Applying healing touch may be alright when the Valley is witnessing a semblance of peace but the government must, at the same time, understand that incentivizing violence will not only encourage others to take law into their own hands but prove detrimental to national interest. Secondly and more importantly, the governments, both in New Delhi and in Jammu and Kashmir, must know that hard earned money of the Indian tax-payer cannot be utilized for anti-national separatists or their lackeys in whatsoever manifestation-a stone pelter or a street urchin waging war against the country.
The nation has seen that despite providing succor to stone pelters in terms of recruitment has not put an end to the menace. It continues because Pakistan wants to keep Kashmir boiling; separatists and terrorists want to give thousand cuts to India; and, their sympathizers continue to blackmail New Delhi for their vested interest.
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© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper