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Message from Kulgam
Instead of encouraging HR abuse, govt should use human rights issue as an entry point into initiating peace process
ActIT Jammu, Projects, Java,, C# Training Jammu
The killings of two civilians, one during an encounter and another in protests that followed the encounter in Frisal village of Kulgam district in South Kashmir once again highlights the poor track record of the security forces with respect to human rights violations in Kashmir. While the death of the first civilian poses the vital question of not as much whose bullet killed the innocent civilian but how best loss of precious human lives can be avoided during such crackdowns and encounters in the name of co-lateral damage. The other issue that Sunday's incident evokes is the larger and far more significant issue of violation of Standard Operation Procedures while dealing with protesting crowds. This Kulgam case is not an aberration but a norm in the world's highest militarized region where patterns of impunity encourage and officially patronize perpetuation of human rights abuse by violation of existing laws and set procedures. The Kulgam case needs to be seen as part of an existing landscape of such cases that impact the psyche of the public in various ways, and deeply so. A mere regret by the government and some cosmetic inquiry, therefore, would not suffice. The shocking memory of the brutal manner in which protests were sought to be quelled during the 2016 five month long agitation is already too fresh. The official ways of justifying such brutality during that period further added salt to the injury. The killing of a civilian during protests on Sunday, as security forces pounded huge ammunition of bullets and pellets, once again reflects the government's inability to contain human rights violations and the callous or deliberate manner in which security forces accentuating and exacerbating flare ups with reckless actions. There is dire need to address the issue.

Human rights violations are not the cause of the conflict but its consequence. However, excessive violations have contributed in massively exacerbating the conflict. The mis-handling of 2010 and 2016 agitations, though not the only examples of abuse, have demonstrated this amply. The mishandling of protests in both years sparked a greater spiral of anger and also pushed youth to pick up the gun and join ranks of militants. Such brutal handling of civilian unrest can at best bring in calm inspired by fatigue factor not address public anger, much less the conflict. Violation of human rights is unacceptable in any civilization. The gravity of the situation is enhanced by the fact that such gross violation of human rights abuse is being perpetuated by agencies of the State. It is also important to view human rights abuse with respect to the Kashmir conflict and recognize the directly proportional co-relation between excessive militarization and human rights abuse and the exacerbation of the conflict. This cannot be holistically done without understanding the politics of policy paralysis with respect to Kashmir as well as an introspection of the patterns of impunity that stonewall any system of justice. The ineffectiveness of the existing legal, political and institutional safeguards against violence is a glaring indictment of the State in abetting an abnormally high proportion of abuse. It is time that the Indian government makes the necessary departure of addressing the human rights issue in Kashmir. Instead, the state intervention on this count could be a great beginning step in addressing the conflict. Since recent anger is fuelled by continuum of human rights violations, militarization and State's high-handedness, there a possibility and scope of major confidence building measures that seek to promise an end to the culture of impunity and culture of imposing curbs on civil liberties and encouraging a cycle of violence. These could not only address the wounds, anger and frustration of Kashmiri population but also aid success of structured mechanisms of facilitating multi-level dialogue between Indian State and Pakistan State, between the two respective states and their respective controlled territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as intra-Kashmir dialogue involving all stakeholders and including all ethnic, religious, regional identities as well as women on board. The government must shed the policy of ignoring and encouraging human rights violations and instead use this issue as a point of entry into resolving Kashmir issue.

News Updated at : Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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