Of Kashmir’s “staged” killings and south Asian peace process

June 1, 2010

When the prime ministers of India and Pakistan held talks on April 29 and signalled an unexpected thaw in their frigid relations, troops in Indian Kashmir reportedly lured three civilians to work as porters.

A Kashmiri village girl cries during the funerals of three villagers killed in an alleged fake gun battle by security forces in Nadihal, about 70 km (44 miles) north of Srinagar May 29, 2010. REUTERS/Danish IsmailThe next day, security forces allegedly gunned down three on the Line of Control (LoC) and passed them off as infiltrating militants from the Pakistan side.

Last week, police exhumed the bodies after three families in north Kashmir’s Baramulla area said the slain men were innocent relatives who had gone missing days before the “border clash”.

After identification the three bodies were found to be those of the missing men, triggering massive anti-India demonstrations across the Valley.

Government forces in the disputed region have been accused in the past of murdering innocent civilians in staged gun battles and passing them off as separatist militants to earn rewards and promotions.

But the fresh “staged’ killings have come at a sensitive time in  Kashmir where rebel violence is waning and the region was expecting a push to stalled peace talks between New Delhi and the region’s separatists.

Though the Indian army and the state government have launched a probe into the ‘fake gun battle” and Defence Minister A.K. Antony has assured there would be no cover-up to shield the guilty, the damage has been done.

Kashmir has again erupted in anger over the killings adding more fuel to anti-India sentiment in the region torn by two decades of bloody revolt.

Angered over killings, senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has asked Pakistan to take up the issue of “fake encounters” with India.

Farooq told a news conference that dialogue and “genocide” of Kashmiri people cannot go together.

“New Delhi talks of dialogue but its troops are  committing genocide of Kashmiri people.  This is the strategy of occupational Indian troops to counter mounting international pressure for resolving the long-pending Kashmir dispute,”  Farooq  added.

Why Indian troops “staged” a gun battle or “fake rebel incursion” on Kashmir border when the disputed Himalayan region is expecting peace between New Delhi and Islamabad and an end to bloodshed?


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This is evident that indian forces do not want peace in kashmir.
The presence of Indian troops in the State is posing threat to the lives of people. The Indian troopers are committing genocide in Kashmir by killing innocent civilians. Unless Indian troops leave Kashmir, fake encounters like Machil will continue to haunt Kashmiris.
this has put question mark to all the encounters in kashmir

Posted by drshugufta | Report as abusive

just like quite diplomacy and back door talk are going on.. same way quite murders and back door framed encounters are going on… i believe its only one of many such unfortunate incidents that have caught the lime light. it makes me doubt all the recent encounters that have been on rise in recent past…. i believe that the army strategy to destroy the houses to ground zero is a method to hide the inefficiency of Indian army or just a cover up so that no clues of fake encounters remains.

Posted by emm99 | Report as abusive

The law has ample scope to mete out punishment commensurate to the crime under both the Army Act and the CrPC.
In this case the initial reaction of the authorities has left no room to doubt their resolve to conduct a thorough investigation in a time bound manner.

There is a perceptible determination to identify the culprits as fast as is possible. In order to ensure that the ends of justice are met it is now necessary to allow the investigation to proceed without any extraneous pressure.

The need of the hour is to allow the judicial process to take its own course so that the guilty are identified and punished.

Politicising the issue will only delay and disrupt the course of the Investigation.

Posted by ushiee | Report as abusive

“This epidemic of fake ‘encounter killings’ by the security forces has plagued Kashmir for too long,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The police must stop their standard operating procedure of killing people in custody.”

“Too often we find that India’s security forces are deemed ‘above the law’ and are spared criminal prosecution despite committing grave human rights abuses.”

Extrajudicial executions by Indian security forces are common.

http://kashmir.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/ fake-%E2%80%98encounter-killings%E2%80%9 9-epidemic/

Posted by ahtishaan11 | Report as abusive

sarcastically. forget about enquiries. Let us see on 26 jan or 15 august what is the cost of the blood of these 3 innocents. which medal does the blood deserve.

it is just to hide the inefficiencies of indian army and justify the presence of army in kashmir. 99.99% of army personnel in kashmir are a frustrated lot. they can kill anyone to justify their presence and earn cash for protecting india. it seems that now army itself is a bigger threat to indian people then terrorists. army just eats up the earning of other people

Posted by ahtishaan11 | Report as abusive

Dear writer i wish you could possed this question to indian Prime minister Manmohan Singh.
my openion says it is a delibrate attempt to tell the world that we are reary to talk, but they are still sending rebels into indian administered side of kashmir, in such conditions talks wont be fruitful. the most importent thing is HOW MUCH SINCERE INDIA is to resolve kashmir issue.
the killings in fake encounters is not new to kashmir, but when some one brags of being a so called “BIGGEST DEMOCRACY” such things tarnish its image and seems every one has its own bloody gains from the conflict, specially men in Uniform: the resources of kashmir be it humans or environment are being demolished for the personal gains. India must understand that if such things continue to happen in kashmir it will never be able to get a Place in “UNITED NATIONS”.
thanks for giving this mental exercise.
keep it up:

Posted by littlemiss | Report as abusive

It is very easy to jump to conclusions in incidents like this. I am not saying that the Indian army is not responsible for such acts, but it should be remembered that Kashmir has huge strategic importance for both India and Pakistan, and either country is capable of doing whatever it can to discredit and blame the other. The worst part is that ordinary Kashmiris fall victims in this chess game.

Posted by vishuvyas | Report as abusive

Kashmir is grossly mishandled by New Delhi specially on encounters issue…If encounters are not fake then evidence of dead men’s guilty should be brought forward otherwise the guilty in forces should be given such severe punishment that no other person in uniform does such a crime and state government should be given such powers to punish guilty (whoever guilty is).

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

I think there should be no doubt that the guilty need to be punished and punished soon. The investigations and trials should be expedited. However, don’t hang them before their guilt is established and the facts ascertained. Just because the media says so and some people believe so, doesn’t make it true. We have seen enough of these public trials turning out to be pressure tactics and false propoganda. This in no way denies the problems the people of Kashmir face and that there have been abuses in the region. It is also imperative that just action be taken in this particular incident.

I wish at least one person who blames the Indian Army would at least tell us why the Army is there in the first place. Isn’t it there because there are marauders and militants being pushed into India from across the border? Should we lay out the red carpet from them? Will someone at least admit that the militants are as guilty as they claim the army to be? I bet this will not happen, certainly not on this blog. Not a word about the regular Friday after payers stone throwing ritual and the deaths they cause? Aren’t they beleaguered Kashmiris also?

I also think that those who use the word genocide, including the Mirwaiz, first consult a dictionary.

I, however, quite understand why the Mirwaiz had to involve Pakistan in the so called ‘genocide’. After all who knows more than Pakistan and its Army as to what genocide really is.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

New Delhi has mishandled Kashmir grossly. If encounters are not fake then forces should provide substantial evidence of the guilt of the killed. Otherwise the guilty in forces should be given draconian punishments for violation of human rights like this. Desperate times need desperate measure.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

The Indian Prime minister is visiting Kashmir and I hope this time he sets the record straight. Last time he did say that there is no space for human rights abuses in Indian democracy. But not much has changed in Kashmir. The army, police and paramilitary men have been employing unbridled force to muzzle the voice of innocent non-combatant people. Dr Singh, I hope, sets an example by acting tough this time. Let there be rights safeguards guranteed to Kashmiris. Don’t think they are asking for too much. It is a decimal request which should not go unheard and unnoticed.

Posted by fahad123 | Report as abusive

Militaries in Asia and Africa are brutal. Many act as though they are above the law. A lot needs to be done in terms of training. Soldiers must be taught that human lives are invaluable and human rights need to be respected. The military systems in South Asia still follow the old Turkish/Mughal ways, which the British continued with in the sub-continent. Look at how the Sri Lankan military finished off the Tamil rebels and their supporters recently. There are videos of men paraded naked and shot point blank. A lot of extra-judicial killings go on. Even the police are not much different. It is unfortunate.

I still would not support liberation of Kashmir because some security men killed innocent civilians. I would bring them to justice. Kashmir liberation is a geo-political issue being orchestrated by Pakistan. It will be suicidal for India to allow for Kashmir to separate at this time. US drones are killing civilians while targeting militants. While they preach human rights to others, when it comes to them, they don’t care what the rest of the world thinks about Guantanamo.

I strongly support limiting Indian’s military’s powers in Kashmir and make them accountable. But beyond that, it would be foolish of any Indian administrator to give hopes of independence to Kashmir. If some Kashmir citizens feel they do not like India, they can go to Pakistan, which is a glorious paradise created just for Muslims. We do not want two enemy countries at our border. One is bad enough.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

They should push the military forces out to the border and leave the policing and counter-terrorim efforts inside the state entirely to Kashmiris.

You can bet good money that if it comes down to Kashmiris killing Kashmiris that the violence will come to a quick conclusion. Or at least the insurgency would lose lots of support.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive

They have already suspended the officials and I hope and believe there would be speedy justice in this case.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/opini ons/6017749.cms

Such incidents tarnish the image of country and its military and expose that there are problems with the administrative structure and professionalism and MUST be sorted out. Indian government must take stringent and transparent actions. We must get our house in order if we are aspiring to become a better nation.

Posted by Seth | Report as abusive

This Kashmir issue has lingered for too long; now is the time to take a decision according to the sentiments of the local population, so that these injustices done in the Indian held Kashmir can stop.

Posted by SZaman88 | Report as abusive

The fake encounter in kashmir dominated the meetings prime minister Manmohan Singh had with leaders of various political parties here with some of them calling it as a “national shame”.

Posted by drshugufta | Report as abusive

When it comes to solving Kashmir, we should never think that there are only three primary parties to the dispute- Kashmir, Pakistan and India. But another powerful party is Indian army who number around 700,000 and officially and technically are fighting 225 militants plus 300-500 waiting to enter from Pakistan administered Kashmir.
With such a huge militarization and no other alternative offered to civilians to express dissent, human rights violations and killings are bound to occur. Not only this, just recently we saw how a 70-year-old Kashmiri was killed and labeled as Pakistani infiltrator for promotions and medals triggering fears that more than 10,000 youths who disappeared during past 22 years of dispute might have met the same fate and are sleeping under six feet up in the mountains in mass graves.
Adding to the insult are ministers and bureaucrats who are either enjoying holidays at picnic spots or are participating in music programmes on the lake-side when the rest of city and major towns (10 districts) were curfewed this week. These things could only push youth to the wall who are seeking justice but are fired at on heads, abdomens, and torsos. Remember in 2008, almost 1200 youth had received injuries above waist, meaning that Hindu armed forces are directly trying to aim at bodies instead of thinning demonstrators, which a top cop , who was sacked after a youth died, also acknowledged to media as well. He said protests should have been allowed.
The real fear is that if armed forces try to corner cats (Kashmiri youth) it will try to pounce upon them. It is exactly what we have been seeing. The peaceful protests of 2008 were forced to become violent which led to killings of 65 youth and more than 2500 injured.
In city and elsewhere armed forces have continued this trend and in the mountains where media hardly reach and villagers choose to remain silent fake encounters continue happening which makes Kashmir a fitting case of UN intervention in forcing India to repeal draconian laws that protects its soldiers and push for a plebiscite to decide the fate of more than 10 million Kashmiris.

Posted by KashmirViews | Report as abusive