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And innocent Blood spills again Kashmir

I haven’t made a post for quite a while now though there were many instances when I wanted to wrote. I even started once but then left it incomplete.

The reason for my not writing was it hurt, it hurt to write about the violence, human rights violations, the injustice done to my people. Even though I wrote so little compared to what was happening in my land. It still wasn’t easy. I was not prepared to undergo the pain, the anguish. It is so constant and continuous that it had left me numb.

But then I couldn’t resist as the bloody face of a teenager with half open haunting eyes filled every newspaper. I could see blood had come out from his nose, mouth, ears of the 17 year old while the back of his head lay in a bloody mess.

Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, the lone son of his parents whose mother had this boy after three miscarriages, was killed while returning from tuition when he was caught in a skirmish between protestors and police.

An eyewitness said a teargas shell was fired at him by police and when he fell down they got down from their vehicles and one of them kicked his body and told others he is dead and fled.

Police first blamed the protestors, then the people who took Tufail to hospital saying it was a conspiracy as no bullet or smoke shell was fired. Finally the autopsy report revealed it was a smoke shell which had made a hole in the boy’s skull. (A smoke shell is fired to disperse the crowd, it is never aimed at people as it can be fatal but in Kashmir it is usually aimed that too at head to ensure causality)

Tufail’s father who works outside the state was on a holiday. He told a national daily that the school bag of Tufail is still lying in the police station. Incidentally the day Tufail was killed June 11 was the day that saw death of 28 civilians in the Chotta Bazar Masacre. 19 years have passed. This is one of the incidents in a list of many. Nothing has been done so far and nothing will be.

As I again and again looked t the bloody picture of Tufail ( I was torturing myself probably because that is all I could do) I could see the green full sleeved T shirt with painted faces girls under the Pain stripped half sleeved shirt of Tufail. I wondered how the boy would have dressed to look cool in the morning. What would have crossed his mind when he would have looked at the mirror. I wondered in anguish how would he have felt when the shell hit him. How much pain he would have undergone and for how long. Doctors found his brain matter out. I pray he would have lost consciousness immediately. I know his mother would have thought about this so many times. I wondered how the killers would have slept that night.

All people Kashmir came out on streets to protest against the killing. The Central Reserve Police of India thrashed a 24 year old in any part of the city; they beat him so much that he went into coma. He passed last night. People say he had died few days back but was kept on a ventilator to delay the unrest. Among protests all over the place as he was being taken for burial police opened fire on protesting mourners killing another youth and injuring many. When this youth was being buried police again fired on the protesting mourners injuring many. Yet again scores and scores of family will be mourning the death of their loved ones. Yet once more all we can do is protest knowing we may get many more such wounds to heal.

The Police in Kashmir are protected by a Draconain law AFSPA Armed Forces Special Protection Act where they get all the immunity and powers to kill.

Last time when I made a post about the killing of another boy someone wrote that we should stop violence. I want to put the record straight. In a recent statement the police said that there are only 500 militants in the state, the armed struggle has turned completely peaceful meaning there is almost no use of gun. That leaves only peaceful march and stones. Are stone pelters to be killed like flies? Why do you kill peaceful protestors? What will happen when you don’t let people protest peacefully? The protests in Kashmir are controlled not by riot police but by the people who are trained for armed combat. It means the small boy protesting the killing of his friend is met by a man who is trained in the military warfare and has a gun in hand (a trigger happy hand that is). Is that fair? He is protected by all the laws while the small boy knows that all the laws are not going to help him? Is that fair?

The details about the guy who was killed today and who right now is resting with so many like him in the martyrs’ graveyard have not come yet. But in my mind I can see his distraught family who will probably never come to terms with the tragedy. (I have got a headache already)

I don’t know where to begin and where to end there is so much to tell, so much to show……………….
The international community is a mute spectator and simply not interested as we are not in their scheme of things. Read we have no oil or any such thing.

I will end with something that might give you insight on how we live.

Every morning while going to office as well as every evening while coming back I see groups of girls and boys coming from tuition. My heart beats faster as I look at the boys and there is only one thing that comes to my mind; a prayer. I pray for their safety, life and happiness as they laugh carelessly, unaware of the danger lurking in the shadows. I feel like a mother and wonder how stressful life all the women of Kashmir have.

Comments

pooza11's picture

Hey Nusrat Thank you for

Hey Nusrat
Thank you for raising your voice after a long time.

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks Pooja. Is ur name

Thanks Pooja. Is ur name Pooja y do u spell it pooza. It seems strange to me.

Regards

Nusrat

jadefrank's picture

For the people of Kashmir

Dearest Nusrat,

I understand that this was a difficult journal for you to write as it is painful to open the wounds within us and confront the nightmares that haunt you on a daily basis... nightmares that for many of us would only be in dreams, but for you are a daily reality.

The persecution of peaceful protesters and the senseless killing of youth must stop. And the world must listen and react to support the Kashmiri people who like yourself, face an uncertain future and live in constant fear.

Thank you Nusrat for re-opening this wound and sharing your story with us. I hope that after writing about your pain and the pain of your people, your heart became a little lighter in knowing that we of the PulseWire community can hear the injustices Kashmiri people face. I have learned so much from you, and for me - Kashmir has become a place of immediate attention in my mind and heart, and the more who hear your story will feel the same.

Help us to understand what we can do to support the Kashmiri people, whether it is writing to our own government officials, spreading your story and the stories of Tufail and others who have fallen victim to the brutality of Indian police in Kashmir, or a more direct action.

I agree, that regions like Kashmir with few natural resources, are of little priority to governments hungry for oil. But I believe that the power of compassionate and determined individuals - when united in a global force - can be a force to reckon with and it's in organizing actions and spreading them amongst our networks, that we have the greatest chance for change... so that we can form a larger peace protest to join hands with the people on the streets of Kashmir.

What can we do?

Love,
Jade

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks Jade, You know I have

Thanks Jade, You know I have been wondering myself how I can contribute other than telling people about Kashmir and urging them to know more. You know two more boys are struggling for life and a photojournalist who saw them at the hospital tols they are really critical. All of them were protesting the killing of innocents. all of them were unarmed with weapons I mean but armed probably with the love of their fellow men. That was their crime.

We have abundant water but the electricity generated benefits India. Also India has signed a treaty with Pakistan which limits our ultilization of our own waters . In return India gets benefits in other waters but the tragedy is India does not compensate us for this.

As far as what you can do is read more and more about Kashmir. Get to know about the root cause of the conflict. Keep an eye on what is happening and above all keep supporting us and raise your voice against all the artocracies in whichever way you could.

Lots of Love

Nusrat

The police in India is inherently and unbelievably corrupt. It is like the mafia! It is like not having a police! The kind of scene you described happens in every part of India. When something goes wrong, even like a theft -- people don't want to go to the police, because you don't know what they will do with that. But in a situation like Kashmir, or even the North East in India where there is huge political turmoil, the environment becomes even more opportunistic for police abuse.

Rita Banerji
www.ritabanerji.com

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Rita, This is Kashmir

Dear Rita,

This is Kashmir and as you might be aware it is only in Kashmir and North East that the security forces enjoy the unbridled powers of AFSPA. So it makes things a lot different here. Not only is there no hope of guilty being punished , there are going to be more and more of such incidents.

'The kind of scene you described happens in every part of India. ' No this isn't true. Though there maybe many cases of such killings but no state has lot more than 70, 000 people. Kashmir has and this is a conservative estimate. Similarly the number of missing exceeds 10,000. The list is long.....

Nusrat

Dan's picture

thank you for this posting

Dear Nusrat,

Thank you for this posting, and for your important work and labor. We have shared it with our readers at Women In and Beyond the Global.

Take care, Dan

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thank you dear. Thanks for

Thank you dear. Thanks for sharing as well.

Love

Nusrat

Kim Crane's picture

courageous

Nusrat,

I believe that the fact that it was hard for you to write this (and to be honest, hard for me to read this) is a hopeful sign—hopeful in that the only thing more tragic and destructive than a society filled with violence is a society that becomes desensitized to the effects of violence, that begins to accepts violence as a natural part of life, a sociey where people no longer empathize and put ourselves in the shoes of victims and their families. By speaking out you are helping to create a world in which such tragedies are deeply felt and you are helping to lay the groundwork for change. Today I read your post and, like you, asked myself, what is it like to be the parents of a child killed so senselessly? What does it feel like to live in this world that Nusrat describes? Others are reading your post and are asking themselves the same questions, and we are asking ourselves what might we do to help change this? I know it takes strength to look these kinds of horrific events head on. it takes even more strength to send out your words into a world that seems indifferent to the situation in Kashmir. I want to thank you Nusrat for taking that leap of faith. I hope that it will inspire us all to take a similar leap of faith to extend our empathy and our energy towards connecting and creating solutions around stories like this. We haven't all become deadened to the violence yet, and we can support each other to speak out in the name of peace and justice.

Thank you for sharing this powerful story,
Kim

Nusrat Ara's picture

It was so touching to read

It was so touching to read your response. The way you saw it was truly remarkable. I am happy that despite the violence we have not got used to it. The protests tell that we are still alive. Thanks for all the support and understanding.

Love

Nusrat

Tina's picture

Some more thoughts to share

Dearest Nusrat,
The first time I read about the shells hitting the boys heads in Kashmir I wondered if it was actually accidental. I wanted to believe that it had to be a coincidence, that the boys were perhaps int he wrong place at the wrong time, but now after reading about it happening again, it is becoming harder to see that. Are they really aiming at the boys heads? It is hard to see any other explanation when so many boys have been hit by the shells this way. If they are then I am utterly shocked and sick to my stomach.

You've mentioned a few times in other articles that you wish the international community would intervene to stop the violence. I wish it for you too, so I wonder what do you think could be done to bring their involvement? Should the people of Kashmir petition a body like the UN for help, or perhaps there are other countries that could come in. Do you think soldiers on the streets from other countries would keep this kind of violence from happening? Or perhaps there is a way to bring these soldiers targeting civilians to task by an outside body. By an international human rights commission of sorts. I am sorry if I am sounding naive here, I do not have the answers but I hope by brainstorming it may spark a solution and a hope.

It must be difficult to write articles like this, but it is also so important that you continue to do so. It is because of your stories that we get to learn the truth through your eyes. Your stories inspire us all to think about the situation and to brainstorm possible solutions.

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Tina, Whenever I write

Dear Tina,

Whenever I write the trained reporter in me keeps me in check. Meaning I follow the rules of reporting like stating the facts, being sure of my sources, when in doubt leave out and others as such. When I stated they were being delibrately targeted in the head I had facts before me to draw the conclusion. The conclusions were not driven overnight they had a backing of two decades of incidnets. A lot of stories had come out in the local press where doctors who treated the injured protestors came on record saying that all the injuries are in upper portion of the body mostly head indicating that the intention was of making it fatal. Even little kids who have seen enough movies know when u want to scare control someone and are forced to shoot u shoot in the leg first.

I suggest you read a bit about Kashmir maybe that will make things a bit clearer.

A few weeks back Indian army claimed to kill three militants in th Indo Pak border area. When the pics were released with much fanfare three families identified their missing sons. It broke out that the guys were promised jobs and then killed to be passed as militants for cash and other rewards. This is only the tip of the iceberg there are hundreds of unidentified graves especially in border areas who the army claims to be of militants but people say they are of local youth who are still missing. There are more than 10,000 men missing. A Human rights organisation tried to do a bit of research admist difficlutieslast year. I will post the link. Maybe u will get an idea. Till then start googling Kashmir.

Love

Nusrat

Starland's picture

Fear

Hi Nusrat

I am so sorry to hear about this. I can only encourage you to take care of you. While these events are devastating and cruel, to personally take it on only makes us sick physically and mentally. I call it detaching with love. You are a very important person. Please take care of you. Maybe now you could find something in beautiful Kashmir that is fun and positive to write about. What we focus on expands. Can you change your focus to something that makes you feel good?

love and hugs
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Nusrat Ara's picture

That is what I do. I have

That is what I do. I have done many positive stories but that makes me feel guilty as I feel I have failed my duty to report the other part which is probably more important.

Somethings one can't help. I am hypersensitive so things move me beyond words.

Love
Nusrat

Nusrat

Starland's picture

Ah, yes, I see

Ah, yes, I see. I guess that is the job of a reporter. Well, I must say, you are a very good one.

Blessings
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Nusrat Ara's picture

Thanks But I feel I need to

Thanks But I feel I need to learn a lot yet. In fact I think I used to write much better earlier :)

Nusrat

Starland's picture

time off

Seems to me that maybe what you could really use is a really good open haircut and a two week vacation. Where's the beach? :)

Love
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Nusrat Ara's picture

We are far away from the sea

We are far away from the sea though there are lot of lakes, streams and water bodies here. I don't think I can have the vacation though :( . I probably need some time alone but it is impossible :( God I need some fellowship that includes travel that is the only way I can get away :)))))

Nusrat

Starland's picture

well

I'm a little busy this week but I'll see (or is it sea) what I can do. hee,hee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Nusrat Ara's picture

please do ;)

please do ;)

Nusrat

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