Stop Killing Unarmed Civilians

IN response to the massive unrest emerging after death of Burhan Wani and his associates, the use of brutal force against the unarmed protesters by the government has resulted in unfortunate killing of number of unarmed innocent persons, which is highly condemnable. The present unrest is the expression of intense anger of the people against the oppressive policies of the government. The killing of unarmed civilians by security forces shows that the government is reluctant to learn any lesson from the past. The only response to this deepening political unrest seems to be relying exclusively on security forces. That is why the first reaction from government of India has been to send more troops. The pronouncement of prime minister evoking Vajpayee’s slogan of “insaniyat” has proved to be a hoax. The way the government of India and the state government is handling the present situation is bound to deepen the unrest further. The administration should desist from using excessive force against the protesters and punish those responsible for killing of innocents.

Today Kashmiris are faced with a big human tragedy. South Kashmir continues to bleed. What is required is human approach and concrete measures from authorities to stop the unwarranted use of brutal force against the unarmed protesters, said Mohd Yusuf Tarigami, Central Committee member and MLA from Jammu and Kashmir in a statement issued on July 12
He said the prime minister’s appeal for peace to the people of Jammu and Kashmir after his return from abroad is welcome, but instead of sending more troops it could have been more appropriate to dispatch doctors and medicines to treat the victims of this brute violence.

The chief minister’s assurance to conduct enquiries can not heel the wounds of the victims. The minimum she is expected to do is to stop the use of pellet guns which has made a number of victims virtually blind. She must ensure adequate supply of medicines to hospitals to treat the wounded. While appreciating the medical and para medical staff of medical college and associated hospitals, SKIMS, district hospitals particularly Anantnag and Kulgam for their exemplary services during the present crisis, he also appealed to the private hospitals to come forward and contribute in treating the injured.

More than 60 academics, writers and artists, in a statement issued on July 13 regarding the current state of affairs in Kashmir expressed grave concern. The disproportionate use of State violence on unarmed protesters in Kashmir reflects severe human rights violations. Setting aside the paramount concerns in terms of continuous interventions in the normal lives of the people, the alarming loss of civilian lives and reports of serious injuries, including blinding from pellet wounds are deeply disturbing.

Attacking hospitals, ambulances, stopping funeral processions and even burning down residential buildings cannot be the response of a democratic nation. The attack on civilians and the ethical implications this has on our armed forces are not justifiable. Images of police, army and task force brutalities against women, children and youth are spreading across the social media. At the same time, partial and prejudiced reports on television and print are becoming the basis for racism, regionalism and religious intolerance among people who are not afraid to bully Kashmiris and others minorities.

The intellectuals made an appeal to the government to consider the state of affairs in Kashmir democratically prioritising the right of Kashmiri citizens to normal lives.

They pleaded the state to subscribe to the constitutional rights guaranteed to each of its citizens, with an immediate repeal of AFSPA and the withdrawal of excessive military presence in Kashmir and hoped the idea of justice and liberty be evenly distributed and let the people of Kashmir be participants in a dialogue that involves their destiny.

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