Sunday, May 31, 2009


Srinagar May 30: At least 25 persons were injured during massive protests in South Kashmir’s Shopian area after two women were mysteriously found dead. The locals alleged that they were raped and killed by troopers while the authorities said opinion could be framed only after completion of investigation. The residents of Arhama village of Shopian said Nelofar Jan, 22 and her sister-in-law Asiya Jan 17 went missing mysteriously from their orchard in the village. “Their orchard is located at Nagbal and they had gone to sow vegetable seeds on Friday 4.30 pm,” neighbor of Asiya and Nelofar, Owais Ahmad told Rising Kashmir. “When they did not turn up till 8 pm we called on their cell and they told us that they were on way to home and will be reaching within 15 minutes. When we called them again, we got the response that subscriber is switched off. We got suspicious and informed our neighbors about the matter. We went to the garden and searched for them the entire night but failed to trace them out,” said family members of the deceased. Owais said after failing to locate them, Shakeel Ahmad - husband of Nelofar - lodged a report with police that his wife and sister Asiya were missing since Friday. “Police along with family members and villagers launched large scale search operation to trace them out,” he said. Another villager, Ashraf Wani said that at around 3 am on Saturday, police and locals found body of one them lying in Rangyari stream. “Another body was recovered at 6 am from the same stream,” Ashraf said, adding, “The stream is very shallow and a child can wade through”.The residents said clothes of the both ladies were torn. “There were also some marks around there necks. It seemed they were strangulated to death,” said the residents, who had seen their bodies.The villagers suspected that the due were killed deliberately after molestation. “Many such cases have taken place here in last one month and we suspect the involvement of troopers in the killing of the two women,” alleged the locals.After retrieving the bodies, the locals took them to a hospital for conduct of post mortem. “The doctors in the hospital did not hand us post mortem report. This led us to believe that the women were raped and killed by the troopers,” another resident Nisar Ahmad said. He said, “We kept the bodies in the hospital premises and refused to leave until a team of doctors from outside conducted the postmortem.” Later, a team of doctors was called from Pulwama to conduct the postmortem. Afterwards, people buried the bodies in a local graveyard amidst pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans. “If there was nothing suspicious why did local doctors refuse to make the post-mortem report public. When we insisted them to reveal the report they fled from the spot and this made us more suspicious” said a villager Mushtaq Ganai.Brother of Asia and brother in law of Neelofar, Riyaz Ahamd told Rising Kashmir that the way to their garden, which is located on the other side of the stream where the bodies were found, passes through the CRPF camp. “We apprehend the involvement of CRPF personnel in their killing,” he said.Riyaz said, “At 8 pm they talked to me very over phone and told me that they were on their way to home. When I called them again after 15 minutes their phone was switched off. The injury marks on their bodies make it clear that they were killed,” he said, adding, “We want that the culprits should be exposed and punished severely.
Protests and clashes Hundreds of people assembled at Shoipan market and staged demonstrations (PHOTOGRAPH ABOVE SHOWING WOMEN PROTESTORS BEING BEATEN TO PULP BY CRPF PERSONNEL AT SHOPIAN). Raising pro-freedom and anti-army and anti-CRPF slogans, the protestors were demanding action against the troopers involved in the incident. The slogans like “Produce the killers” and “We want justice,” rented the air. The protestors pelted stones on Deputy Commissioner’s office and hospital. They damaged several vehicles and flogged doctors. A contingent of police rushed to the spot and resorted to heavy baton charge and fired dozens of tear smoke shells to disperse the agitating people, who retaliated by hurling bricks and stones towards them. At least 25 persons including some cops were injured in the clashes, which continued for couple of hours.After the clashes and protests, authorities imposed undeclared curfew in some areas of Sopore to prevent people from taking to roads and protesting against the death of two women. The strength of police and paramilitary personnel were increased in the sensitive areas and people were not allowed to venture out of their homes. Official speakPolice said after receiving the complaint about the missing women, SHO Shopian alongwith 10 locals launched a search operation to trace out the duo. “During the searches, the bodies of the missing persons were recovered from Rambi Arra Nallah Saturday morning and brought to the District Hospital Shopian for postmortem,” SP Shopian Javed Matoo told Rising Kashmir. About the post mortem report, he said, “The doctor after examining the body said that no physical injuries or torture marks could be established”.He said when people came to know about it, they took to roads and staged violent demonstrations. “They resorted to arson and manhandling of hospital staff. Besides damaging the hospital property, they attempted to set ablaze the hospital,” SP said. He said afterwards police swung into action to disperse the agitated mobs. “The people came back to us and requested for independent probe,” Matoo said, adding, “DC Shopian called a team of doctors from Pulwama to conduct post mortem once again”.He said the report are awaited and will be submitted to them by Monday.“It is too early to ascertain the cause of death. We can frame opinion only once the circumstances of deaths are fully investigated”.When told that the locals are accusing CRPF of killing the women, the police officer said, “The CRPF camp is located at least at a distance of more than one km from the place where the bodies were recovered. We cannot accuse them of being involved in the incident. A civilian can also commit such a crime,” he added.SP Shopian said police have lodged the FIR into the incident and initiated the inquest proceedings under section 174 to ascertain whether the two women were murdered or died natural death.CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi termed the allegations wrong and totally baseless. “CRPF men are not involved in the incident,” he said.Geelani calls for shutdownHurriyat conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani has appealed people to observe strike on Monday to protest against the killing of two women at Shopian.Geelani termed the incident as ‘barbaric’ and ‘shocking’. “The incident is condemnable in strongest possible terms,” Geelani said and urged people to observe complete shutdown on Monday to protest against the killings. He said people in Kashmir have no other option than to stage strikes to protest against the ghastly killings of two women. “Our criminal silence would conceal the accused. So we should peacefully protest against the incident and observe strike,” added Geelani.Several separatist and mainstream parties including Hurriyat Conference (M), JKLF, JKLF (Rajbagh) Muslim League (Rajbagh), High Court Bar Association, PDP and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami have strongly condemned the killing of the women and demanded a thorough probe into the incident.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


One Dies, Another Critical; Anti-Army Demos; Driver Held; Pampore Shutdown For 4 Days
Srinagar, May 28: For the third time this month an army vehicle trampled to death a youth and critically another near Badami Bagh army cantonment on Thursday morning, triggering massive anti-army demonstration in the area.Eyewitnesses said the Shafat Ahmad Wagay and Muhammad Ashraf Sheikh of Kadalbal Pampore were riding a bike when the army vehicle hit them while overtaking them. Shafat Ahmed died on the spot, while Muhammad Ashraf suffered grievous head injuries.Eyewitnesses said that army did not allow them approach Shafat’s body for 15 minutes after the incident. “Shafat’s body remained untouched for 15 minutes on road because the army did not allow any one to go near it,” eyewitnesses alleged.Shafat was taken to Army hospital, where he was declared brought dead.Ashraf Sheikh, who had been injured in the accident, was taken to the nearby Army hospital from where he was referred to SK Institute of Medical Sciences, where doctors said that his condition was critical. “He has cervical spine fracture and a ruptured spleen. We will be operating upon him soon,” the doctors said.Police have arrested the driver identified as Lance Naik P.K. Panday of the 103 regiment posted at BB Cantonment. The SDPO Nehru Park, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, told Greater Kashmir, “We have arrested the driver (PHOTOGRAPH OF KILLER DRIVER UNDER POLICE CUSTORY SHOWN BELOW) and seized the vehicle. We have lodged FIR 104/09 against the accused in Ram Munshi Bagh Police Station and booked him under sections 279 and 337 of RPC for negligent driving.” However, it was not clear whether the accused was in police or army custody.Immediately after the accident, hundreds of people assembled at Batwara and shouted slogans against army, demanding action against the driver. The police dispersed protestors by firing tear gas shells and several rounds of ammunition in air. Police action angered the peaceful protesters who pelted stones and in the ensuing clashes several protestors sustained injuries.Meanwhile, Fallah Behbood Committee of Pampore alleged the Army vehicle deliberately hit the two youths outside the gate of Badamibagh Cantonment at Batwara. The Committee said that it would observe a complete Bandh in the Pampore for four days.“We will launch peaceful protests against the killing of innocent people by army,” the secretary of the committee said.The residents residing adjacent to bypass said that traffic police should be deployed immediately to replace the Army and CRPF patrol parties deployed during passage of army convoys.This is the third accident on the Srinagar-Jammu highway involving an army vehicle in the last month. On 8 May Bashir Ahmad Sofi, a former militant commander was hit by an army vehicle when he was calling from a mobile phone on roadside at Khrew Pampore. On 12 May an army driver, alleged by the locals to be drunk, crushed 10-year-old Khusboo near Lasjan.The Army spokesman Col J S Brar refused to comment on the incidence of army vehicles involved in accidents. He said an inquiry has been ordered by the army. “The driver has been arrested and he is in army custody. We have immediately called for an inquiry.”The IG Traffic Muhammad Amin Shah refused to comment on army vehicles involved in accidents and said it was not his jurisdiction. “Each accident is different but I can’t say anything about this. Investigations will tell about why the accident happened.”The IG further added, “The DIG traffic has written to the army so that we can chalk a plan where their presence does not congest the roads and we are sorting the matter out.”BOY DIES IN PAMPORETwelve year old Ubaid Rafiq son of Muhammad Rafiq of Frestibal Pampore succumbed to wounds at sub-district hospital Pampore. He was trampled by a truck (JK01C-2852) on Srinagar-Jammu highway. A FIR has been lodged against the driver at Pampore Police station.


Srinagar, May 27: Informing that hundreds of human rights violations have gone unreported in Poonch, Hurriyat Conference (M) Provincial President, Kamaljeet Singh Wednesday urged United Nations to establish its own commission to probe into rights violation in the region. “Thousands of human rights violations have been committed by troops in Poonch,” said Singh who has documented 417 cases of rights violation pertaining to custodial disappearances, custodial killings and torture in Poonch.“So we demand UN should set-up international commission to investigate rights violation,” he said.Singh who is also a human rights activist said he had been forced to beseech UN for the commission since the government had shown reluctance to act upon the recommendation of its own State Human Rights Commission.“I have reported 417 cases of human rights violation to SHRC,” he said. “The SHRC has so far passed seven judgments pertaining to different cases. However for the past two years, the government has not implemented a single recommendation of SHRC.”Singh, who was spotting a green turban, said SHRC had been made subservient to many other screening commissions.“Most of the 417 cases comprise of civilians. We wanted victims to get some kind of relief from the administration,” he said. “But no such thing has happened as they have made the process intricate.”Besides, he said they want UN commission to probe into rights violations since they do not believe in state affiliated commissions.“If the UN could report rights violations on Sri Lanka, why not Kashmir,” Singh said.Sitting in the Hurriyat Conference (M) office at Rajbagh, Singh narrated how difficult it was for the victim families to get justice in Poonch.“Hundreds of cases are unreported. I recently reported three more cases of rights violation to SHRC. They have not been reported either by police or army. The three were killed by unidentified gunmen,” Singh said.“These incidents remain unreported as they have happen in far flung mountainous areas,” he said. “I have documented only 417 cases. But there are hundreds of pending cases of heinous crimes committed by troops in far flung areas.”Stressing that the government had, most of the time, shown reluctance to help the myriad number of victims in the mountainous area, he demanded that the administration should take CBMs like trade after rehabilitating those victims.“I have to fight to register their FIR in police stations,” Singh said. “Poonch is full of tragic stories. One will get tired but stories in Poonch will not end.”He said he received several threat calls while he was gathering information about these cases.“I was scared but continued to work. I knew I am doing it for a noble cause,” Singh said.He appealed other human rights organizations to probe human rights violations in Poonch.“I am the lone person who has reported cases from there,” Singh said.

Monday, May 18, 2009


As Usual Government Orders Useless Probe Into the Killing
Courtesy: Daily Greater Kashmir dt. May 19th, 2009 by GOWHAR BHAT
Srinagar, May 18: The killing of a civilian allegedly in the custody of the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Monday triggered massive anti-police protests near his residence in uptown Alochi Bagh here. Eyewitnesses said that Manzoor Ahmad Beg, 35, son of Abdul Ahad Beg, was bought in an unconscious state to the SMHS hospital in the afternoon by some unidentified persons in an auto-rickshaw. “They left his (Beg’s) body in the hospital premises and fled the spot. The body was taken inside the hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.” Beg’s body was shifted to the Government Medical College for post mortem. Police later shifted it to the Police Control Room. Fearing uprising and protests, police handed over the body to the family late in the evening. Beg’s brother, Abdul Majeed said, “At around 1.30 pm two men appeared on my shop and told me that my brother had been picked up by the SOG men of Cargo camp. They told me to go to the SMHS hospital where he was admitted. When I went there I was told that he had died.” “There were torture marks on his body. His underarms were swelled and there was a strangulation mark around his neck… the body is now in PCR,” he said. From the SOG camp, he said, he was told that Beg’s body was first shifted to a private nursing home, Ramzana Hospital, where two unidentified men had hired the auto for SMHS hospital. He said the auto driver arrested by the police had been lodged in Karan Nagar police station.

Father of three children, Beg was a dealer of secondhand cars. When the news of his death broke in the area, many of his relatives and neignbours were shocked when they learnt that he had been killed by the SOG of the state police. “I saw him in the morning when he was buying some goods from a shop. He later accompanied his daughter to the school and left for his routine work,” said his neighbour Mushtaq Ahmad. “I don’t believe that he is dead.” While police retained his body till late in the evening, massive protests erupted in the area as scores of men and women, shouting anti-police and anti-India slogans, took to streets to stage protest demonstrations. They blocked the Airport road for several hours bringing the rush hour traffic to a complete halt. The protesters demanded that the body be handed over to the family. They also sought action against the policemen involved in his murder. A large number of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed in the area to deal with the protests. Later in the evening, when Beg’s mortal remains were handed over to the family, a pall of gloom descended over the entire locality. Women wailed and beat their chests as the coffin was bought to his house. Many separatist leaders, including Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mushtaq-ul-Islam and JKLF vice-chairman, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, visited the residence of the deceased. Meanwhile, the government has ordered a probe into the killing. Talking to reporters at the GMC, Srinagar, the deputy commissioner, Me’raj Ahmad Kakroo, said that he had ordered an inquiry into the killing. He appointed the additional deputy commission, M. Y. Zargar, as the inquiry officer asking him to submit his report within a week. Asked why he had come to the hospital and whether it was a custodial killing, Kakroo said, “I got a message and thought to visit the hospital to get the first hand account. We will probe the matter and then only would it be clear whether it is a custodial killing or not.” Kakroo was accompanied by the senior superintendent of police, Syed Ahfad-ul-Mujtaba.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kashmir Dispute makes entry into Guinness Book of World Records

‘Kashmir is the largest militarized territorial dispute in the whole world’
Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dt. May 15th, 2009 by Hakeem Irfan
Srinagar, May 14: The 2009 edition of Guinness Book of World Records has described Jammu and Kashmir as the ‘largest militarized territorial dispute’ in the world.The Guinness Book of world records quoting American Intelligence Agency (CIA) fact book says: “The dispute between China, India and Pakistan for the Kashmir region is the largest and most militarized territorial dispute currently taking place on the planet earth.”The report came after US President Barrack Hussein Obama emphasized the need to have “better understanding” between India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir dispute.“We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and help resolve the Kashmir crisis,” Obama had said in an interview with MSNBC news channel.The record book reads that the dispute continues ‘despite the massive earthquake that devastated the area in 2005 killing 80000 people’.“At any time, up to one million troops confront each other across the Line of Control that represents India and Pakistan administered Kashmir,” the book mentions on page 137 in the chapter ‘modern life’ under the banner ‘World at War’.In Kashmir, human rights activists and observers see it as an important strategic outcome from the US intelligence agency.Noted columnist and a senior faculty member at the Department of Law, Sheikh Showkat said: “Sense of deprivation amongst people of Kashmir has kept the dispute alive. The statement from the US institution depicts that finally world has realized the importance of the issue and need to solve it if we see it implicitly.”“It is high time for India to realize the ground situation and accept the reality,” said Hussain. “It should at least shake the policymakers in New Delhi. Here military has been empowered to do anything and besides its ruthlessness it has been legitimized through draconian laws.”Human rights activist and senior counsel Parvez Imroz said: “It is because of US that wars between India and Pakistan were averted many times. Indian Army is in Kashmir to neutralize and control which also brings with it the baggage of atrocities and human rights violations.”“The statement from CIA is very important,” said Imroz. “Kashmir is the battleground of two nuclear rivals if any war happens. So it is high time to resolve it. International community seems to have realized the grave situation here. It must pave way for taking steps vis-à-vis the resolution of Kashmir issue.”

Monday, May 11, 2009

Army lorry crushes 10-yr-old girl to death in Lasjan

Locals stage demo, damage vehicle; Police fires tear shells
Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dt. May 12th, 2009 by Abdul Mohamin
Srinagar, May 11: A fast moving army vehicle crushed to death a 10 year old girl at Lasjan, evoking massive anti-army demonstrations with protestors damaging the vehicle. Eyewitnesses said that one of the vehicles (02D/49794) in the army convoy hit a 10 year old girl Khushboo daughter of Abdul Qayoom at Lasjan Byepass at around 4 pm while she was crossing the road. “She was dragged by the vehicle for few meters, causing her on spot death,” they said. The army vehicle, according to the eyewitnesses, tried to speed away from the spot after killing the girl. However, the vehicle was blocked by a tipper, bringing to complete halt the army convoy. People in large numbers gathered at the scene of the accident and ransacked the army vehicle. Raising anti-army slogans, the protestors broke the windows of the vehicle and alleged that troopers were ‘intentionally killing’ the Kashmiris. They demanded action against the guilty army driver. A contingent of cops from Nowgam and Pantha-Chowk police stations reached the spot and resorted to cane charge and fired tear smoke shells to disperse the agitating people. The locals accused SHO of Nowgam police station of using excessive force against the protesters. “Instead of pacifying the locals, the police officer used force against them,” said an elderly person.The police officials, present on the spot, said they tried to pacify the protesters that investigations will be launched. “The protestors refused to disperse and demanded that SSP City should visit the spot and order impartial probe,” they said, adding, “They had no option but to use mild force to restore law and order situation”.The stand-off led to the traffic jams on the Byepass with vehicles on both sides remaining stranded for hours together on the road. As the protestors continued to block the road to press authorities to punish the guilty army driver, police again resorted to tear gas shelling at 7.10 pm. After the police action, partial vehicular movement on the road was restored and vehicles were allowed to move towards their destinations. Meanwhile, till last reports, police had not registered FIR against the army.Driver arrested, inquiry ordered: ArmyDefence Col Uma Maheshwar Monday said army regrets the death of the innocent girl child who was overrun by their vehicle.He said that the driver had been arrested and a high level inquiry ordered. “Stern action will be taken against the driver as per the law of the land,” he said.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

APDP to UN: Ask India to repeal draconian laws

Tells govt to declare disappeared men dead if killed, or their whereabouts if alive
Srinagar, May 10: United Nations must ask India to withdraw draconian laws that give impunity to its armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir, and also prevail upon India so that it clears its stand on the fate of thousands of men subjected to enforced custodial disappearance in the past 20 years, Parveena Ahanagar, the president of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) told reporters on Sunday. Parveena Ahangar, leading a monthly sit-in of the parents of disappeared persons at Pratap Park here, released the document she submitted at the 86th Session of the UN’s Working Group on Involuntary Enforced Disappearances in Geneva in November last year . Ahanger said the APDP submission urged the WGIED to ask India to ratify and implement the provisions of the International Convention for Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearances (2007) and UN convention against torture, abolish all secret detention and interrogation centres, take immediate steps to protect family members of persons disappeared from intimidation and harassment by security forces, and also empower the NHRC and SHRC to investigate crimes committed by the armed forces in compliance with international standards and norms. The submission comprised six individual cases of disappearances in Kashmir. “The general submissions presented a brief account of the widespread prevalence of Enforced Disappearances in Kashmir and gave an overview of the Indian laws related to sanctions for prosecutions, and special laws like AFSPA which give armed forces extraordinary powers,” she said. The document gives a brief account of the APDP’s meetings with several UN officials in Geneva. “In response to the efforts of the APDP the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay during her recent visit to India on March 24 has asked India to allow the UN Special Rapporteurs to visit Jammu and Kashmir as in the past two decades hundreds of disappearance cases have been reported in Kashmir,” the document reads. “The High Commissioner has also called for repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act which allowed the security agencies to indulge in excesses.” The document said that Pillay raised these issues during a press conference with Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram, where she reiterated her demand to allow UN officials on human rights to visit Kashmir. Meanwhile, the Association demonstrated against the Jammu and Kashmir government, accusing it of failing to address the issue of “enforced disappearance of civilians in the custody of armed forces.” The family members of the disappeared men chanted anti-government slogans. “We don’t want jobs or money, but our children. We have been long waiting for justice, but the successive governments have failed to deliver it,” the members said. Holding placards which read “where are our loved ones” the members urged the chief minister Omar Abdullah to address their issues. “For God’s sake tell us where they are? Declare them dead if they have been killed, or hand them over to us if alive,” said the 70-year-old Azi of Tengpora whose son Mushtaq Ahmad Dar was disappeared in the custody of troops 10 years ago. The relatives of disappeared persons urged the chief minister to visit different jails to ascertain the condition of Kashmiri detainees. “We are sure he will find their condition very pathetic,” they said.


Courtesy: Editorial, Daily Kashmir Times dt. May 10th, 2009
Only five months back, the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir saw an unexpected turnout of voters in Kashmir Valley, close on the heels of the spectre of sea of humanity that would descend on the streets at the mere call of the separatists during the land row agitation. And this time, it is more or less deserted streets, at least in several pockets of the Valley. Erratic behaviour is not without a reason. What is it that inspires a person to vote or boycott elections? There may be no simplified answers. The reasons may be as complex and varied as the changing mood of the people. In no circumstances, should this wavering trend be attributed to a single factor. There are too many lying at the fountainhead of this sweet and sour of voting patterns in the Valley, especially off late. It is absolutely clear that in the last assembly elections despite 'azadi' slogans generating huge popular protests throughout the length and breadth of the valley, as witnessed during the land row agitation last summer, just days before the elections began, people came out to vote because they deemed their day to day development and employment issues as not only significant but also delinked from the resolution of Kashmir issue. By and large, people voted because they realise that some contestants in poll fray would make it to the legislative assembly and governments will be formed even if there is less than 10 percent voting. A government will be in place - no voting, coercive voting or bogus voting. So the natural reaction is why not to vote more consciously. So, they voted for a better choice, or lesser of the evils, whatever the case may be. In a land where developmental imbalance has kept some areas so backward, the people's obsession with their day to day matters becomes more significant. No amount of calls by the Hurriyat leaders for a complete boycott of the elections made any difference as the polling percentage went upto 50 and beyond.
Then why is it that when the same separatist leaders again call for a poll boycott, the people by and large decided to stay away. Can the waning or increasing influence of the separatists have something to do with it? Most likely not, though to some extent the stand of the United Jehad Council, an umbrella organization of Kashmiri militant groups, does make an impact. The UJC's appeal for boycott in the last assembly elections was too mild, rather absent, unlike its rhetoric during the parliamentary polls. But then there are other reasons for people to stay away. Firstly, there is a vast difference between the assembly elections and the parliamentary polls. As far as the common man is concerned, the former is related to their development and governance issue and the latter is an exercise to elect a government in power at the Centre. The parliamentary elections thus become something distanced and insignificant. Rather they become an idea that Kashmiris, still enamoured by the slogan of azadi would like to not associate with. An Indian democratic process is none of their concern, would be the political stand of some. Some of this disenchantment with parliamentary polls also stems from a mindset that is not peculiar to Kashmir alone but stands true for rest of the country as well. In most places, the voter turn out in assembly elections is far higher than the parliamentary polls. This time in Kashmir, this detachment from parliamentary polls was further supplemented by the fact that the time gap between the assembly and Lok Sabha elections was too less to generate any enthusiasm. Secondly, and more importantly, the disenchantment with the newly elected representatives and the new government in place which has not even been able to sketch out a road map for fulfilling all the promises it made during the time of asking for votes. It is this disillusionment with electoral politics every time that adds to the weight of the separatists, who may not have essentially risen from their own stature in the past few months. There is nothing exceptional about their statements or their behaviour that may earn them extra points. The support to their call is instead more inspired by a process of elimination, which is the norm elsewhere in India as well. Except, elsewhere in the country, this process for elimination guides people to vote for the 'other' party; in this part of the world, among other alternatives the politics of boycott, fuelled by the popular slogan of azadi, has a far greater appeal. However, a more compelling reason for the change in mood of the voter in Kashmir is how the high voter turnout was used by the mainstream politicians in and outside the state to interpret is as a vote against 'azadi' and separatists, which it was not. The propaganda machinery that was oiled after the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir throughout last winter is what makes them flinch and retreat. What perhaps appalls the people more than anything else is how their voting patterns are used, rather abused, to misinterpret their ideologies by political beings of any shade and hue.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir
During last year’s mass uprising which was met by relentless force by police and paramilitary CRPF, journalists were not spared either. In the thick of covering the protests, the reporters and photojournalists were beaten severely by the troopers. Besides, the angry protesters also vent their ire on them.• July 5: Raashid Wani, cameraman with Sahara Samay was severely beaten by CRPF near Soura. He spent three days in the hospital.• August 12: CNN IBN cameraman, Bashir Ahmad Lone’s car was fired at near Lasjan. He was also beaten in the incident.• August 13: The Aaj Tak crew was attacked by angry crowd inside SMHS hospital. NDTV’s Amin Bhat was injured when people attacked his vehicle at SKIMS. Ishfaq-ul-Hassan was beaten by people near Karan Nagar. He had earlier been stopped by police and was asked to give lift to one of their men. When people saw him carrying a policeman with him, they stopped him and started beating him.• August 19: Greater Kashmir photographer Amman Farooq was beaten up and his arm broken by CRPF at Bypass near Qamarwari.• August 22: Muzamil Rashid of CNN IBN was shooting at Habba Kadal when CRPF opened fire on protesters and then tried to snatch his camera.
• August 24: Bilal Bhat along with his team members- Rashid Mir, Muzaffar- was stopped by CRPF at Rambagh and beaten even though they had curfew passes. S Fayaz of UNI was thrashed by CRPF men near SMHS hospital. Jehangir Aziz of ETV and Khalid Hussain of IBN 7 were beaten near Rambagh. Manoj Kaul of ETV was beaten near Zero Bridge. Amin War, Firdous Ahmad and Amin Bhat were stopped near Bakshi Stadium by CRPF men and beaten. The local newspapers were not allowed to distribute their copies. Farooq Ahmad and Rahil of Rising Kashmir were beaten at Batamaloo while he was carrying newspapers for distribution. Greater Kashmir staff came under assault when Zahoor Ahmad, Mohd Iqbal, Ghulam Muhammad were and beaten by CRPF men near Rambagh while they were carrying copies for distribution. • August 25: Mir Ehsan of Indian Express came under assault when CRPF men smashed the front and back lights of his car in Baramulla. Asif Qureshi of Star News was stopped at Hyderpora and beaten up. His car was also smashed while he was coming back from airport.• August 28: Bureau Chief of The Hindu, Shujaat Bukhari’s home was raided by troopers.• August 29: Rising Kashmir’s Hakeem Irfan was beaten near Rainawari. “You were beaten only because you are a journalist,” Irfan was told by the troopers. Ishfaq Tantray of Daily Etalaat was stopped near Radio Kashmir Srinagar and beaten up. “You people are responsible for the problems,” he was told by the troopers.• September 8: Police confiscated all the newspaper supply meant for north Kashmir near Narbal. The cops also destroyed the camera of Etalaat’s Sajad Raja and also threatened him. Around eight photojournalists were thrashed by police and CRPF men in old city while covering a protest against the killing of a youth.