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Silence over Sopore

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The killing of two sisters by terrorists in Sopore is yet another barbaric act by terrorists in Kashmir valley. The two sisters – Akhtara (19) and Arifa (17) − were from Muslim Peer Mohalla of Sopore. They were dragged out of sight of their parents and a brother by the terrorists at gunpoint while the girls’ aunts followed them, pleading for their lives. The brutal act happened at five hundred metres away from their home.

The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah strongly condemned the killing of the two sisters. He wrote on his twitter page, “If you can’t condemn the killing of these two girls, irrespective of your political beliefs & do so without qualifying it then shame on you.” Except Omar, others have maintained silence over the killing. The main opposition party of Jammu & Kashmir, People’s Democratic Party also chose to remain silent.

Separatists of the valley are known for making hue and cry over so called killings and atrocities by security forces in the valley. But over this heinous act, they are almost silent. The separatists of the valley first didn’t utter any word over the killing but after media cry, they were forced to condemn the killings. Azaadiwallah brigade seems to have justified the killings for their major cause of Azaadi. In other words, Azaadi is above all for them. It should be kept in mind that Separatists, including both factions of the Hurriyat and the JKLF last year led the four-month-long street protests characterized by stone pelting.

What if any such killing had a minute connection with security forces who are being viewed as occupation forces? Azaadiwallahs would have come on streets and created ruckus. Separatists would have started beatings the drums of Azaadi and so on. But security forces were not involved. How could they be so vocal about it? It seems separatists are being rewarded by their masters only for speaking against Indian State, in particular security forces. It is of grave concern that human right activists are not coming out of their caves to condemn brutal incident.

The two young sisters were termed Mukhbirs (informers) of police and hence killed. Well, killing of informers/agents of police or indirectly Indian State is not new. It has happened in the past when Kashmiri Pandits were brutally killed because they were termed Mukhbirs. And at that time also there were no strikes, no shutdowns to condemn the killings. That time also killings were justified.

It can be inferred from the silence that how communalised the society of Kashmir has become (though exceptions are there). Will the killing of Sopore sisters be wake up call for Sopore (if not for whole valley) or this barbaric act will be forgotten with passage of time?  It may also be noted that Sopore is still considered Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s stronghold.

I mourn the killing of two young girls. May God grant peace to their souls and strength to their family to deal with this tragedy!

Written by Varad Sharma

February 5, 2011 at 7:00 am