Comparing 2010 and 2016

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Leader of opposition and former chief minister Omar Abdullah is well within his rights to hit out at the ruling party—more particularly chief minister Mahbooba Mufti for the six-month unrest and subsequent killing of civilians in the year that passed off. In a democracy, the opposition’s role is that of a watchdog—to keep eye on the wrong doings of the government and censure it wherever necessary in the interest of common people. So when Omar Abdullah asked—the other day in state assembly—the chief minister to accept the responsibility for what happened in 2016, he was well within his brief as opposition leader. But what renders Omar Abdullah statement to mockery is his holier than thou position. Omar Abdullah, as chief minister, himself presided over a year of unrest with more than 120 civilian killings in 2010. But he is little ready to own the blame for what happened in his time. He tried to put a small price on 120 deaths that took place in his government by stating ‘2010 cannot be compared with that of 2016 because we did not blame either opposition or Pakistan”. This is the most bizarre argument only sick minds can put forward. One is within one’s rights to ask Omar Abdullah did he accept the responsibility for what happened in his time. If yes, can he please tell the people what he did to make up his faults? Accepting responsibility does not mean issuing a statement in the press. It means identifying the genesis of the issue, working on them to avoid its repetition in future, making accountable the state organs responsible for the trouble, trying and punishing the guilty and compensating the victims to their best satisfaction. One would like to know from Omar Abdullah what he did other than maintaining criminal silence. Omar Abdullah ordered probe into 17 killings that took place in the first seven days of the unrest saying the probe would be completed within 15 days. Seven years have passed since then, the probe was never completed. The forces, which directly operated under Omar Abdullah (as home minister) went on with their killing mindset and shot dead 103 persons more besides maiming and torturing 10,000 others. As many as 7000 were arrested and lodged in jails and torture cells. This was for the first time that underage boys—between 14-17 years—were booked and jailed under Public Safety Act. Omar Abdullah gave free hand to his police and CRPF to bring calm in the streets. The reign of terror that followed forced the Supreme Court Ram Jethmalani to issue a damning statement. “Omar Abdullah government is a Nazi outfit, which has unleashed a reign of lawlessness in the valley under police raj. Kashmir is plagued by bureaucratic arrogance, lawlessness, administrative paralysis, rampant corruption, unending nepotism and unaccountable governance. As Indian citizens, we reserve the right to express our views about the deplorable situation in the state. We have been pained to see that human rights violations continue in Kashmir, young and innocent children are being arrested, and a climate of terror and all sorts of excesses prevails. The elected government in Kashmir has usurped the right of free expression available to every citizen of the country under Indian democracy, and the unending spree of arrests has turned the region restive, angry and resentful”. Ram said. One can say it with great authority and certainty that if the CRPF and policemen involved in mass killings in 2010 had been held accountable and punished for their murderous actions, there could have been a hold-bar on 2016 killings. The police and CRPF took it as a license to kill people with impunity, and 2016 is in continuation of 2010. That in no way lessens the sins of the present government. Chief Minister Mahbooba Mufti has still time to deliver justice to the families of those killed and wounded in her last six months rule. If she fails or ignores, natural justice will come in.

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