Death destruction, calamities and suffering at the hands of intruders and invaders has been fate of poor Kashmiries for thousands of years, who have robbed Kashmir of its wealth and killed Kashmiries at will. Kashmir’s different clans have fought among them selves for power and supremacy and as proxies of different rulers or apparent heirs. But as history depicts Kashmiries have rearely killed each other for materialistic considerations and had been pursuing the path of non-violence in its entity.
For last decade and half fear psychoses gripped Kashmir providing congenial atmosphere for people with criminal bent of minds, who had gone for killing spree. Killing instincts thus propagated; instigated these criminals to deprive poor vulnerable souls of their God gifted life for petty interests. As we all know criminals have no ideology they are neither rightist nor leftists, their sole aim is to rob people of their assets and honor. Efficient, discipline and moral oriented policing check criminals, who flourish under the shadow of uncertainty and atmosphere of anarchy.
Police that literary derives it’s meaning from the word ‘cleaning’ (cleaning of society from crime and criminals and enforcement of law) is the saviors of mankind during the atmosphere of uncertainty and turmoil. But when the same institution of respite and safeguard gets intruded by unscrupls element, and makes some of its members not only to patronize criminals but cast them into the moulds of crime, then what will be the fate of society.
The recent killing of a young man belonging to gujjar community at Shangus Anantnag by masked men while pursuing their extortion oriented designs was a unique incident in it self. The masked extortionists turned killers when unveiled were found to be otherwise policing, policemen. These policemen masquerading as members of a particular out fit (extremist) had embraced complete perfidy and shown no mercy while victimizing their victims.
If brave Abdul Rashid Khan had not unmasked them, another ‘case’ file would have got added to a huge pile of records marked ‘untracked masked gunmen’. It is quite astonishing that sections of ‘police’, the instrument of state responsible for law enforcement, maintenance of order and protection of it’s subjects were involved in such a heinous crime. It becomes now imperative on the authorities to review all previous cases of killings by unidentified masked men and look into them from a broader point of view as a new dimension has got added to this whole scenario. No doubt this incident has given a bad name to Kashmir police, tarnished its image, and done an irreversible loss to this organization. But it can not make us to generalize and make opinions about all the police men belonging to this once elite force. There are some black sheep in every system but an organization of this magnitude and responsibility can not afford to harbor such elements at any cost. Decipline and morality are the basic requirement for a police force.
The incident of killing Rashid was so grave that an authority not less than the Director General of the force was compelled to deplore and regret it advocating that ‘police is for protection of masses and not for murdering them’. The healing balm was quickly applied by terminating the culprits and initiation of prosecution under law, but all of us have the right to be apprehensive about these measures.
When I saw the pictures of slain Abdul Rashid Khan wrapped in white cloth on the front pages of local dallies, and that of his bereaved family my eyes became wet and I could not resist tears in my eyes. The young children of deceased looked like wilting, yet to bloom flowers, unaware of the future hardships in store for them in absence of their beloved father. His other near and dear ones with gloomy faces were quite aware of their great loss and uncertain future.
People could not understand what made progeny of disciples of Nund Reshi and Lala Ded and other saintly souls to become brutes of first order and take life of fellow innocent Kashmirie for petty materialistic interests; who neither believed in arrogance of state nor the realistic or unrealistic dissidence of its opponents. His aim and purpose was to live a simple, modest life free from any hypocritical inclination.
I hope and further appeal and request not only the top brass of Kashmir police but even the lowest ranks to think and ponder on this otherwise looking minor incident in this turmoil torn valley, but a grave tragedy; and decide about its future role of real policing. Let whole of police force bear in mind that money and power are not the only considerations of life, but to profess compassion and love with complete discipline and moral values can give solace and peace of mind.
Policemen have to completely cleanse their force by culling and weeding out all unscrupulous elements out of their force, and restore its pristine glory.