zahoorKashmir is yet again at the crossroads after the killing of militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in an encounter on July 8. The fresh wave of unrest that broke out after the killing has already consumed 50 lives. For the first three days when angry protestors hit the streets, Kashmir witnessed at least 23 civilian killing apart from bullet and pellet injuries to hundreds of young and old men – many of them maimed for entire life.

         The situation was described by the doctors in the Valley hospital as the “worst” that they had seen since 2010 summer unrest which continued for three months. The State Government has come under sharp criticism for allowing the “excessive use” of the force for dealing with the situation, resulting in the killings for the past three weeks. So far the government has ordered probe into four of the 50 killings that took place during the 20 days, beginning July 9.

         If the outcome of the probes ordered in the past into the civilian killings by the forces is any measure, there are little hopes about the victims’ families getting justice. As per the media reports many families have lost their sole bread earner while more than hundred people including teenagers and minors are at the verge of losing the vision in their one or both eyes due to the severe pellet wounds, Besides, another 100 youth who are battling severe bullet injuries in their limbs and vital organs could end with severe lifelong defects such as problems in mobility, hearing and speech.

          Meanwhile the ongoing protests in Kashmir are now threatening to prolong into yet another summer of unrest, a grim reminder of the three consecutive summer-unrests which started in 2008 and ended up consuming more than 200 lives, more than 120 people were killed alone in 3-month agitation in 2010 which broke out following the killing of three civilians by army in fake encounter in border area of Machil for rewards and promotions.

       While the need of the hour for the Stat and the central governments is to realize the ground situation in Kashmir and engage all the stakeholders to try and find a lasting solution to the long pending K-problem, at the same time, they however need to fix the responsibility for the tragedies that hundreds of families across Kashmir have been subjected to, amid the allegation of excessive use of force by police and other security forces.

Editor in Chief