<Kashmir> Another - and another - and another outrage in Kashmir, this time so blatant, such a violation of the Geneva Conventions, such a violation of basic morals.
This was in Budgam, just outside Srinagar. A army convoy carrying poll workers was hit by stones. The Major in charge ordered a man - Farooq Ahmad Dar (age 26) - to be tied to the front of the jeep as a human shield. They then drove down the road. He was accused of being 'stone pelter'. Farooq Ahmad Dar denies this, saying he is a embroider of shawls.
This comes after the army action during the polls that has resulted in the death of at least eight people, including Faizan Fayaz Dar (age 12). He was shot by an army man in the back of the head. In his notebook, Faizan had written: 'What does Tagore wish for India and Indians? He wished that people of free India should be fearless, truthful, proud of their culture, and loving'. So much for that.
Our comrade Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami (MLA Kulgam) had a very clear comment on the situation. 'The atmosphere in the Valley was not conducive for polls and at this point the Government of India should have initiated dialogue process to resolve the Kashmir issue instead of holding polls here. Kashmir issue is a political issue and must be addressed politically. I believe the Government of India should have taken steps to restore the confidence building measures in the Valley instead of going for elections. Pellet guns and bullets are not any solution but the dialogue is the only way to resolve this issue. It is unfortunate that the civilian killings are going unabated. The people of Kashmir are not animals. Probe must be initiated to identify the persons involved in the killings of Kashmiri civilians. When we all are seeking a dialogue between India and Pakistan then why can’t we (mainstream and separatists) sit together to talk over the common grounds so that we can jointly force the Government of India to initiate the process to resolve the Kashmir issue'.
Thoughtful column by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, http://indianexpress.com/…/sinking-valley-kashmir-violence…/.