ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Conceal the Truth, Protect the Guilty

Hiding the truth, as in Shopian, only perpetuates the culture of impunity in Kashmir.

New Delhi has been proposing “dialogue”. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a “historic” visit to Kashmir to pave the way for what home minister P Chidambaram calls “quiet diplomacy”. They talk about “normalcy” but can their initiative for peace make any headway in the absence of justice? Is their “quiet diplomacy” meant to convey to the other side that a dialogue is possible only if you maintain a deathly silence over the repression, the rapes, the killings, the custodial deaths, and the disappearances over the last two decades? And now, six and a half months since Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan were found dead in unnatural circumstances in Shopian, and those responsible for apprehending the culprits had “systematically and deliberately destroyed, tampered, diluted the evidence and thus misdirected and obfuscated the investigation”, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has trashed even what evidence there is, pointers that suggest double rape and murder in Shopian. But can peace come about in Kashmir when New Delhi continues to go all out to bury justice, even as the people want to unearth the evidence buried in the many unknown, unmarked, and mass graves across the Valley?

On 29 May 2009, in the afternoon, Neelofar and Asiya go from their home to their orchard, the route in the eye of three security camps, but fail to return home. They disappear and remain untraceable despite the frantic search for them by their family, and later, with the “help” of the police. Mysteriously, the next morning Neelofar’s body is found at the same spot that the family and the police searched the night before; Asiya’s body is found a km away. The claim, even then, parroted by the chief minister too, was of drowning in the Rambi Ara nullah, which, incidentally, had only ankle deep water. The conclusion of drowning, which the CBI is now bent on establishing, was, of course, premeditated; it is pertinent that the first post-mortem report had ruled out drowning as the cause of death. The police did all they could to cover up the crime, but the local people of Shopian, led by the elders who formed the Majlis-e-Mashawarat, rose as one to challenge the authorities, and the whole Valley soon joined the call for justice.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top