Pragmatic | The distorted truth

Malicious report of a so-called Kashmiri Human Rights group

“Despite the hype of peace, people of Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed unabated violence, human rights abuses, and denial of civil and political rights, absence of mechanisms of justice, heightened militarization and surveillance. The figures of violent incidents suggest that 2011 as usual has been the year of loss, victimization, mourning and pain for the people.”[Link]

This is from a report about Kashmir in the past year, 2011, by a so-called “Kashmir-based human rights organisation”, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS). It further goes on to state:

“In 2011, a total of 233 people have lost their lives due to violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of 233 persons, 56 were civilians, 100 were alleged militants, 71 armed forces personnel and six were unidentified persons and counter insurgent renegades,” the rights body says in the report. “Out of the total 56 civilians killed this year, 11 were students, amongst whom seven were minors. Also amongst the civilians killed six were women,” it adds.[Link]

By providing details of only those cases where security forces were involved, the report creates an impression that every single death in Kashmir in 2011 was at the hands of the security forces. For eg., it cites the killing of a Hindu man Ashok Kumar by BSF, and highlights Mohammad Yousuf’s alleged custodial killing. When it harps on Nazim Rashid’s killing in police custody, the report conveniently forgets to mention that he was accused of killing two other Kashmiri young men in collusion with the militants.

This is not the first time such propaganda has been unleashed by “human rights groups” in Kashmir. Such propaganda has been unleashed incessantly over the last two decades to provide canon-fodder to the separatists and their sympathizers in their anti-India tirade. Of course, many foreign journalists (including those based in India) fall easy prey to such propaganda.

Let’s now look at the facts. Out of the 233 killed persons, 100 were militants while the majority of the balance were either political workers or common civilians gunned down by militants. The report further says that “in 2011… no end to disappearances, custodial killings, rapes and arrests “. But the only rape case of 2011 alleged on the Army was the Kulgam rape case, which also turned out to be a fake allegation. Moreover, when it comes to arrest of minors, a Delhi based Human Rights group had openly accused Syed Ali Shah Geelani of misinterpreting their findings to further his own destructive agenda.

The report fails to mention the killing of Moulana Showkat Shah which was initially christened by Geelani as an “Indian army planned conspiracy”. Later the LeT had claimed responsibility for the murder of the respected Kashmiri religious leader. 2011 also saw two sisters in Sopore being dragged out and shot by militants because they were supposedly indulging in un-Islamic activities. Or the one in December where the separatists bludgeoned a shopkeeper to death when he refused to heed their call to shut his shop during a shutdown call.

A friend provided this blogger a list of incidents from April to July in 2011 which have been overlooked by the report. (If anyone has a list for the complete year of 2011, he or she may leave the list/ link in the comments section.)

  • April 9: Militants shot dead 42 year old Abdul Rehman at Badergund, Ganderbal.
  • April 10: Militants kills 20 year old youth Sajad Ahmad dar at Sopore.
  • April 16: 46 year-old Hasina Begum shot dead for participating in elections. (Many liberals often lament the so called absence of democracy in Kashmir. This is what happens to those who support democracy)
  • April 25: Militants kills 30 yr-old Mohammad Ashraf Dar at Rafiabad, Baramulah.
  • April 28: Bus driver who was attacked by stone pelters, succumbs; accused arrested. (Another manifestation of how separatists allow democracy to thrive in Kashmir. His only mistake was he ferried those employees who were on polling duties during Panchayat elections)
  • April 30: Militants kill 20 yr-old Shamsudin Mir at Sopore.
  • May 2: IED planted by militants kills a street vendor at Udhampur.
  • May 10: Election candidate shot at by militants at Sopore. ( Another one for “Democracy”)
  • May 17: Sarpanch shot dead by militants at Sopore.
  • May 20: Lashkar terrorists behead pro-Democratic worker Abdul Gani Rather in Kishtawar district.
  • May 28: A father and son duo, Ghulam Hassan Mir and Manzoor Ahmad, killed by militants at Bowan, Handwara.
  • June 6:  Militant shoots dead a man, Afzal Khan of Sopore, near Lal Chowk area of Srinagar.
  • June 7: Militants shot dead a cop, Manzoor Ahmad at Sopore.
  • June 15: Manzoor Ahmed Dar shot dead by militants at Shopian.
  • June 27: Militants shot dead Muhammad Yaqoob, 50, at Najwan.
  • July 25: Militants shot dead Mohsin Ahmed Wani, 35, son of Manzoor Ahmed of Jalalabad, Sopore.
  • July 28: Militants kill a man, Mohammad Ashraf Sheikh in Sopore, Kashmir

These, and there are many more unfortunate Kashmiris, for whom no petitions will be signed nor will any protests be staged. Their names will not be found on any list released by a Human Rights  group. No celebrated ‘Kashmiri’ writers sitting in foreign lands and writing about conflict in Kashmir will highlight this aspect. No candle-light protests will be organised to lament their death.

The reason is simple. The Kashmir conflict has created a whole industry, both inside and outside Kashmir, whose livelihood and importance is dependent on keeping the conflict and its memories alive. They are supported in their cause by many ISI-backed NGOs posing as Human Rights groups in Kashmir. Ghulam Nabi Fai was just one of the more direct and blatant ISI agents. But there are many others who do it surreptitiously and indirectly. Then there are some others who do it without even realising that they are being stringed along by anti-India forces.

While the governments of India and J&K have done a good job of containing the violence in Kashmir by bringing it down to the lowest levels in two decades, the challenge of countering Pakistani and separatist propaganda remains as strong as ever. The government must bring the truth out to counter this malicious narrative. It must win this battle to ensure lasting peace, security and livelihood for the average Kashmiri.

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.