Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kashmir's extra-judicial killings

Courtesy : BBC news :

A young Indian soldier recently stationed in Kashmir reflects on the controversial issue of 'fake encounter' killings - where the security forces are alleged to carry out extra-judicial killings while claiming they were caught up in gun battles with militants.

Since he gave these views to the BBC's Urdu service, seven policemen have been charged with murder in connection with the death of a carpenter that he refers to.

"I heard that there have been some 'fake encounter' killings in Ganderbal [near the summer capital, Srinagar]. It's not that I was not aware of the fact that these things happen, but somehow the number disturbed me. Apparently the security forces are being held responsible, and they have probably even accepted responsibility.The big game being played here is that of money
Some of the people who are part of the security forces are Kashmiris, some of them are even surrendered militants who fought the army at one time. I was appalled, and at the same time very sad.
The question is, why would anybody want to kill a poor carpenter? I mean how harmful can he be? The answer is so obvious that I was at first surprised and then angry at my own naivety.

The answer is the system.

The system in the Kashmir valley has become such that "kills" by so-called security forces are associated with medals, monetary benefits, promotions and a host of other perks.So any organisation getting or registering more "kills" reaps the benefits.Now, to kill a seasoned militant these days is difficult, because these guys are mercenaries and are tough.So some elements within the security forces apparently do the next easiest thing: pick up an innocent man from the street and get him killed somewhere else.
And the saddest part about the whole thing is that even Kashmiris themselves are doing this to their own people.Suddenly everything becomes a blur. It becomes unclear who the real enemy is. I had come to the valley with naive ideas of being able to make a difference, but in reality I can only influence not more than 10 people.
And then something like this happens, and there are villagers and more villagers protesting on the street, asking for freedom from this kind of oppression.Obviously they will protest. Anybody would.A solution to the suffering looks a long way off
Even if there is no solution in sight one cannot just go and pick up people from the street and kill them. And if they do this there will be never be any solution.I had dear friends who had nothing to do with the Kashmir problem, who were from places far away from here, who were soldiers, who died here believing they were dying for a cause because they were told so.But now I realise they do not really want to solve the whole issue.
The big game being played here is that of money. Money being pumped in by Pakistan to wage the war and money from India to conquer it.And as long as there is a war going on in the valley there will be unaccounted money and people to make good use of it. I realise that we are just pawns in this game of dirty politics. And I suddenly feel small... very small.

Article is taken from BBC News
You can view it at

No comments: