Kashmir has a long and distinguished recorded history spread over many thousand years, marked with many turbulent periods and few patches of peace and prosperity. Cruelty, suppression, pillages and exploitation has always been the fate of inhabitants of this beautiful land. With the dawn of democracy in the subcontinent Kashmir and Kashmiries tried to come out of a long spell of suppression and exploitation but landed in a web of ill-treatment laced with baits of democracy. Dictators vanished from the political scene of Kashmir but a bigger band of political system occupied the centre stage and resorted to extremes of exploitation. Political interests and constituencies overshadowed the people’s aspirations and desire for development, peace and tranquillity. Last two decades will be considered the most confused part of Kashmir’s history as cruelties were inflicted in the garb of freedom and democracy and innocent people experienced reality of many deceptive political faces. Political fortunes were made out of blood and sufferings of people and power was grabbed by deceit.
Very less water has run down the Rambi Ara at Shopian this summer substantiating in negating the theory of drowning concocted by few unscrupulous elements in the administration about two innocent ladies of Shopian who were otherwise mauled by beasts in the garb of humans to full fill their shameful lust and then brutally killed. This recent shameful incident at Shopian has corroborated the fact how people of Kashmir particularly women are used as tools for ghastly crime against mankind to pursue the agenda of subjugation. Such incidents are not new in this trouble torn land but the shameful way it was being hushed up and passed on as a simple case of drowning or suicide by the people at the helm of affairs shows that such methods of subjugation are patronised by unscrupulous elements within the machinery of governance. From the day first administrative apparatus at Shopian and their bosses at Srinagar tried to down play this shameful and gory incident and made every effort to mislead and hide things. In this induced situation of confusion culprits got enough time to destroy most vital scientific evidence and establish loopholes for future exploration during the advance stages of investigation and trial. This was the first error deliberately induced by the custodians of law at grass root level. So influential were the perpetuators of these discreditable theories of suicide and drowning that they made chief executive of the state government not only to believe but practise all they have churned in their mill of deceit and mistrust. A chain of errors started getting established in place and things became complicated both for the investigating agencies and the sensible elements within the state government with every passing day.
People’s anger started brewing against the bundle of lies and attempts of hushing up the matter more than against the crime itself. Government’s credibility became doubtful and government resorted to partly legal camouflage of one man inquiry commission. Influential criminals and their masters led the commission to the oblivions of wilderness and made it to annex some unwarranted remarks to his findings regarding the victims and their kin. Ultimately honourable judge had to come out in public; clear his stand and put things in its right perspective. This brought administration to the extreme levels of embracement, compelling them to resort to many other errors. Thus their defective, partly influenced and half hearted administrative decisions gave way to avalanches of embracement.
Every sensible human being is shocked over the enormous clout wielded by the criminals and the way they are steering the situation in their favour under all circumstances. Sitting behind the curtain they are manipulating every fact and situation in their favour from the day one. It has now become an established fact that many in the administration tried to hide the facts and become part of disgraceful band of supporters of gruesome crime against civilization. Be it the local administration, law enforcing agency or medical science people assisting the investigating agencies all were infiltrated with moles who made their best effort to help in hushing up the matter. The highest court in the state has substantiated this fact and has reposed its trust and confidence solely in the people of Shopian rather than the administration of the state. Honourable court remarked “The investigation is the duty of the state Government and the court is only monitoring it. Based on the evidences which were available, the court felt that the puzzle could be cracked,” —-“But their erosion makes us to suspect that there is a conspiracy to shield somebody involved in the crime. Now we have to bank on the information from the people who were close to the victims,” greater Kashmir August 20. These insinuations are virtual strictures passed on the manner of handling the case by the Government. Our young chief minister should take note of it, listen to his inner voice only and decide the future course of action in light of his commitments made to the public in this matter.
We should firmly believe in the fundamental of natural justice that any accused unless proved guilty by law is innocent and speculation about any crime of any magnitude does not go well with the basics of civilized society. Same applies with Shopian case but suppression of facts in a clandestine and organised manner compels investigating agencies to wield their magic wand in dark and raise their finger against any one coming under shadow. Shopian incident has put question mark particularly on the credibility of Kashmir police and it becomes imperative for this otherwise reliable force to clear the blot; cleanse its ranks and come out clean from this situation of shame and disgrace. This brilliant force has to walk an extra mile in busting this case and prove its real worth as saviours of people of this state. Every one in the administration should introspect and ponder upon the errors made, some deliberately with iniquitous intentions and others unknowingly and derive a strategy to nab the culprits at an earliest restoring trust and confidence among the people. Otherwise it will be construed that government with a mandate to ensure security of people is becoming part of war crime like situation of subjugation by making infringement upon the people’s honour and pride. There is no other situation for the present government but to come out clean at any cost and respect the peoples mandate for peace, development and equality.
Shopian is acid test for the present political leadership particularly for young energetic chief minister who is being promoted as embodiment of justice and values. Any deviation from trust reposed by the people and commitments made by him on the floor of legislative assembly and outside will prove counter productive not only for his prospective political career but will prove to be a watershed for escalation of violent dissent within the valley.