Khayal zooms in on criminal violence in Kashmir
(Mr. Ghulam Nabi Khayal, 70, was born in Srinagar. He received his schooling and college education in Srinagar, and completed his Masters degree in English. Mr. Khayal is considered a doyen among Kashmiiri journalists, having worked for both Indian and international newspapers like the Statesman, India Today, the Guardian, Voice of America, and others. He is also a topnotch Kashmiri writer having bagged numerous awards at local, national and international levels, including the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1975. Mr. Khayal has published 24 books in Kashmiri, Urdu and English languages. He is the owner of a journal, Voice of Kashmir, published weekly from Srinagar.)
KASHMIR TODAY … CRADLE OF CRIME?
Srinagar: Probably it was in these columns sometime back when I wrote that up to the 50th year of my life, I had heard of only of a couple of murders; one having been committed in old city of Srinagar and the second one somewhere in Shalimar area.
Today’s Kashmir, bruised and brutalized with terror-war of twenty years, has lost all its moral nobility and the crime rate has gone up alarmingly beating all previous records of the past.
The blood shedding militancy came in as a blessing disguise for certain elements that made it as their unfair business when the gun was used against innocent citizens and not the security forces. The kidnappings, rape of women, murders, abductions fro ransom, dru abuse and burglaries became so rampant that one wonders in sadness as to what happened to the peaceful and god fearing Kashmiris whose spiritual preachers like Lall Arifa, Shekhul Alam, Hazrat Shah Hamadan and thousands of Islamic scholars are now forgotten and their diktats taken as obsolete words of myth.
This has transformed the dignified Kashmiri nation into a society of ssruthless criminals though every one is not involved in this spate of crime.
The figures that follow are given by the police sources ands are hair raising when compared to the several past decades, if not centuries.
During the last nine months (January to November this year) as many as 90 murders were committed across Kashmir Valley of which 24 were solved and the rest are still under investigation.
Cases of 81 rapes were registered with the police; 42 solved and 33 are under investigation. The happenings of burglaries top the list in the world of crime in Kashmir. There were 763 burglaries committed, most of them involving vehicle thefts, 48 were not admitted and takes as false and 94 challaned. Four hundred fifty five kidnappings took place during these nine months but only 121 could be solved till date and 108 cases of drug abuse including drug peddling and trafficking in narcotics were reported out of which 36 were challaned in various police stations. Even now, all these crimes are continuing in Kashmir unabated. A slight let up has been recorded in incidents of eve teasing particularly outside the female educational institutions.
No doubt, when every Tom, Dick and harry including auto rickshaw drivers, street venders, market urchins, illiterate youths and anti-social elements inn the social set up are offered gus, the use of the weapon is boud to side tracjk and its aim to fight outn the State is brfushed saside. Insteda, it is freely iused by the so called holy warriors against theor own civilkian brethren even to settlke score pertaining to frivillous matters. The conservative fiogurs of civilians butchered during the last 20 ydears bythe. foires as well as by the militants has lareday crossed an alarming mark of 50,000 which include infants, woman and old men. Today, each ands every locality and village in the Valley is having a martyrs graveyard. This is what has been gained out of misuse of gun by militants who are not answerable to any authority except Almighty Allah. Although the forces are accountable before their seniors, but on this side too much less has been done to bring to book the culprits and punish them despite official claims of zero tolerance and safeguarding of the human rights in this bleeding Kashmir.
One of the reasons for a steep increase in crime over the years is that the State police was compelled to take to a different course of being trained to deal with the militancy obviously resulting in their paying little attention to the curbing of crime in the society, says Farooq Ahmad, inspector general of police (Kashmir range). According to him many complex cases were resolved in no time which would otherwise create a serious law and problem in the city. He cited the case of murdering of a young student, Israr of Maisuma, by his own class mates. After the report of missing of Israr was registered in the Maisuma police station, the political miscreants lost no time to paint it in political colours and vehemently blaming the orces for disappearance of this Islamia College student. The misled youths came out in streets holding to ransom the civilian population, damaging public properties, smashing window panes of private vehicles even ambulances and destroying whatever came in their way most violently in the city of Srinagar till it was revealed to them to their astonishment that Israr’s murder was the outcome of a so called love affair simultaneously between not less three students with one girl. Who the girl was and where she belonged to? No one knew nor has any one bothered to know about her till date credentials, rather genuinely.
The bringing to the book of the culprits of this particular tragic incident by the police does not absolve this force of the blame of their being complacent with regard to a series of killings and other heinous crimes constantly being committed in the Valley without any strict action taken against these social evils and criminals in the society to go ahead with their illegal activities with a clear belief that police cannot lay its hands on them and that’s why most of them are roaming around scot free.
It may not be out of place to add here to this colum n that tens of thousands of Biharis and other labourers thronging the valley during summer, have also been found adding to the menace of rising graph in the crime chart. They are rag collectors as well as thieves. Their women go for begging and also indulge in immoral activities where ever they have erected their polethene tents for their stay. There are cases registered with the law enforcing agencies of children and people having been abducted by these outsiders who at times take them out of the Valley and sell them to goons for begging purposes. Unfortunately, they are also added to the number of our “dear” tourists when the annual figures are made public by the concerned department:
Naatiqa sar ba girebaan hai ise kya kahiye?