The Dal Lake
Have you heard the names H. R. Parihar, Bahadur Ram & Farooq Ahmad Guddu? Most likely you haven’t. These three gentlemen, and many more that will come to light in the coming days, will haunt us in the coming years. What have they done? Read on….
On February 17th 2006, the Indian forces claimed to have shot dead an unidentified terrorist in Kashmir. According to the army, it recovered a Kalashnikov rifle, ammunition and a pistol on the body.
On October 5th 2006, the army claimed that it had it had killed a Karachi (Pakistan) based terrorist by the code name Abu Zahid in an ambush, somewhere in Kashmir. An assault rifle and a wireless set were recovered, it claimed.
In the first week of February 2006, a certain Mr. Nasir Ahmed Deka, a hawker of cheap perfume, on the kerb-sides of Srinagar went missing. He was last seen carrying a briefcase in which he used to store his cheap perfume. His family filed a missing person complaint. What was his connection to the above mentioned incidents? Except that on February 2nd 2007 when Police investigators exhumed the grave of the so called terrorist killed on February 17th 2006, they exhumed the body of Mr. Deka. (Going by the clothes on the decayed body, local residents identified the body to be that of Mr. Deka. A bottle of perfume was also discovered on Mr. Deka’s body after it was exhumed!). The briefcase Mr. Deka used to store the cheap perfume was recovered in raids on the home of assistant sub-inspector Farooq Ahmad Guddu. Was Mr. Deka a terrorist?
The exhumation of the grave of Abu Zahid yielded a body that has since been identified as that of Mr. Shaukat Khan, a cleric reported missing from Srinagar.
Then there are Ali Mohammed Padroo and Mr. Ghulam Nabi Wani; as in other cases, claimed to have been killed as unidentified terrorists.
These shocking truths have come to light following months of internal investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Abdul Rehman Padder, a resident of Srinagar and a carpenter by profession. A Special Investigation team of the Jammu & Kashmir Police later established that Mr. Padder’s killing was part of a series of murders carried out to make the perpetrators eligible for rewards and promotions.
This has been Jammu and Kashmir’s worst kept secret. Now there is official admission that innocents do get killed and branded as terrorists in the state. An internal investigation of the J&K police has implicated members of the state police and the army in a series of murders carried out to gain rewards and promotions. There have been other cases of atrocities against Kashmiri civilians by the security forces. For example, 12 army personnel, including a commanding colonel are facing proceedings for murdering four labourers in April 2004, and passing them off as terrorists.
The Jammu & Kashmir Police have so far arrested Mr. Guddu & two men from the ranks. Mr. H. R. Parihar & Mr. Bahadur Ram, Superintendent and Deputy of the area coming under investigations, have been removed from active service pending investigation. However the army has yet to make public what action it intends to take.
The editorial in the Times of India Edition of February 5, 2007, says ‘Terror begets terror, irrespective of the political context. J&K has been a police state since insurgency began in 1989. People of the state have been victims of mindless violence, on the part of both militants and security forces, since then. Forces of the state have contributed in large measure to the people’s misery. The political class has failed to enforce the moral and legal authority of the state and abdicated the ground in favour of security forces. The police, paramilitary forces and the army have had a free run in the state. This has not secured anybody’s life, as casualty figures of civilians and security personnel for the past 15 years would reveal. The spiral of violence has spawned a parallel economy that has been exploited by state and non-state actors. Rewards and incentives announced by the state for killing terrorists have fattened this economy. Such incentives have promoted a culture of officially sanctioned bounty killings. The discovery of fake encounters and FIRs is a wake-up call to the state to realise the horror that has been unleashed on the people.’
It is incidents such as the ones I have mentioned above that make the young people of the valley heed the call of jihad. All talk of peace is then systematically massacred. Terrorists from the valley roam the country in search of targets. So next time there is a terrorist attack quite near your place of work you know that you have, among others, Parihar, Ram, Ahmad & their ilk to thank for too!