Walk the talk over Shopian killings
The killing of two civilians in firing by army in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on January 27 has led to rage across Kashmir. The killing followed death of another civilian in firing by the forces in the district less than a week before. While army has justified the use of the forces saying that they had allegedly come under attack from youth who pelted them with stones, the families of slain youth have termed the army statement as “baseless”. The killing took place when state Assembly is in the session. The opposition raked up the issue in the House and the chief minister has ordered a time bound probe into the killing. But this is not for the first time that the government has ordered probe into the killing of civilians in firing by forces. Thousands of such probes have been ordered in 28 year long conflict in Kashmir. But none of these investigations were taken to conclusion. People of Kashmir have now lost hope in such investigations which are now being seen only as time buying tactic to pacify the peoples’ anger. The PDP’s ally BJP has already objected to the registration of army unit involved in killing of the two youths in Shopian and has demanded that FIRs should be withdrawn. However the Chief Minister has stood her ground. She even informed the House that she stood up the matter with the union defense minister who according to her has ensured all possible support to the government. If the outcome of the probes into two recent killings, one of a lecturer from Khrew area of Pulwama and an ATM guard from Srinagar is any indication then much shouldn’t be accepted from the probe into the Shopian killings as well. More than a year has passed when the chief minister had ordered a time bound probe into lecturer and ATM guard’s killings as well. But the cases haven’t moved forward till date. Like the previous government the promises of justice made by this government after every human rights violation have proven to be false. The recent assertion of the government into the Shopian killing that the probe will be taken to logical conclusion is yet another promise made by the government. It remains to be seen whether this time the government will walk the talk or it will be another probe ordered and consigned to official files.