THE VICIOUS CYCLE. YET AGAIN
It’s Monday evening a friend calls and we talk about the expectation that tomorrow was going to be a normal day meaning I can go to office after almost a week.
As we talk I realize something. I don’t feel rested or relaxed after a week at home. In fact I am all tense and exhausted. We share the misery on the phone. It’s the constant worrying about what has happened today, checking net , calling people that is taking its toll. And the amount of time someone at home is out is pure hell. I see my mother tense all the time and her worries have no limits when my brother is out of the house. Though they have banned sms’s my friend says we should thank God they have not snapped the phone lines yet.
It’s Tuesday morning and I am ready to go to office. My parents tell me that there is no transport on the road. Oblivious of what has happened I am determined to go to office do I call a colleague who lives nearby for a lift to office. He has different plans so I hang up. Just as I am wondering how I can manage a colleague of mine calls to tell me to think before I leave as things are pretty bad once again.
So as I try to gather information I am shocked not again. But that is what has happened.
Monday evening a minister visited an area in Srinagar and people shoed him away with protests. A teenager Muzaffar Bhat, 17, went missing. He was allegedly taken away by police after they chased stone-throwers who had targeted a minister’s cavalcade in Tengpora.
“We met Muzaffar on the banks of the stream. We were three and the police were chasing us. He gave me his wallet and asked me to run home and inform the family,” said Muzamil Ahmad (10), a Class V student, who was the last to see Muzaffar alive. “Policemen in Rakshak vehicles caught him. They hit him and put him in a vehicle.”
People from Gungbug, Tengpora and Batamaloo joined Muzaffar’s family and blocked the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. The police denied any knowledge of Muzaffar’s whereabouts and this infuriated the crowd. People spread out mats and sat on the road, demanding the release of the boy.
“At daybreak, the police and CRPF came in several vehicles and fired tear smoke shells to disperse the sit-in. They then made the announcement about the curfew,” said Sarfaraz Ahmad, a neighbour. “They (police) told us they had found Muzaffar’s body in the stream. They killed him, there were torture marks on his head and neck,” he alleged.
The body was taken to the police control room where doctors conducted a post-mortem. “He had blunt trauma at two places on the head. He had been hit before he died,” said one of the doctors. “Our conclusion is that he fell unconscious after he was hit in the head and died later.”
The police handed over the body to the family early this morning. Agitated, people decided to take the body in a procession to the martyrs’ grave downtown. As people crossed the foot-bridge on the stream to reach the highway, CRPF men appeared on the embankment and opened fire, killing 35-year-old Fayaz Ahmad, an employee of the Floriculture department. Another person was seriously wounded. Police took both bodies with them but word spread and people took to the streets across the city. Read more
And then when the two dead sons of the soil were taken for burial to martyrs graveyard where thousands of such men are buried they were not allowed to. Instead smoke canisters were fired and the bodies taken away and given back with the instruction to bury them in the local graveyard. We are not out for any stone pelting but to bury our loved ones. Please allow us proceed,” the mourners begged before the men in khaki.12 photojournalists were injured when paramilitary soldiers beat them with sticks and rifle butts. But the pictures spoke all. They had two lifeless bodies on two stretchers on the road with an old man (the father of the deceased) trying to shield one among the security forces. A FATHER TRYING TO PROTECT HIS DEAD SON screamed the caption of the picture on facebook. The father came to the recue of his DEAD son when the forces started Kicking the body. Read more
How can one remain unaffected after seeing this especially when he knows it can be him in the picture either in the place of the boy or his father the next day? So people came out on streets to protests all over the city. Read on
It reminds me of another picture that newspaper carried a few days back. In one it had a mother pleading with the security forces to release her son as they were taking him away after picking him up while he was playing cricket. In the next shot the mother lay in the middle of the road. She had fainted, probably due to fear as she knew what can happen. God forbid she might not see him again and she can do nothing even after knowing who and how he was picked up. That is the tragedy of Kashmir.
FOR A CHANGE WE KILLED A GIRL read the status of my cousin in facebook. The girl belonging to the areas of Muzafar and Fayaz was killed in her home as a bullet hit her. See one is not safe even in ones home. The police said a stray bullet hit her. What does this mean? It just means they fire into the houses of people as well.
The woman's death triggered more violent protests with demonstrators clashing with government forces at several places in Lalchowk, Srinagar's main commercial hub. After tear gas and warning shots, troops opened fire killing a 16-year-old Abrar Ahmad Khan and critically wounding another young man. Government imposed curfew over the city.
The security forces have killied at least 16 people during street demonstrations since June 11. The recent unrest had prompted authorities to impose a curfew in most parts of Kashmir for a week.
For those who don’t know Kashmir is divided between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan and is claimed by both. Separatist politicians and armed militants in Kashmir reject Indian sovereignty and want to carve out a separate homeland or merge the predominantly Muslim region into Pakistan.
It’s Wednesday morning Kashmir has been handed over to the Indian army amidst curfew in the city. All curfew passes have been cancelled. I pray for the critically injured teenage boy as mom tells me another one has died last evening in the protests.
Janice you are right there is a pattern not in the terrorists attacks (which are absent and only a manufacture of their lies,) but in the killings. 2010 has been termed as a YEAR OF TEENAGE KILLINGS by a local paper. They kill a teenager, protests follow, they fire on the funeral procession, killing more, more protests followed and they kill more. This is the third summer of the killings, Third summer in a row that drenched Kashmir in blood.
This has been a vicious cycle.