Rejecting the army’s closure of Pathribal case as miscarriage of justice, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Friday said the developments like this make restoration of credibility in institutions among the people of Jammu and Kashmir even more difficult.
In a statement the party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the army’s decision is a huge setback to the efforts at reconciliation and delivery of justice, which is prerequisite for building trust. He said while there have been many instances in which standards of justice applied to incidents taking place in J&K have been found short of the universal standards applied in rest of the country, Pathribal atrocity stood out even among them for its cruelty and context.
This, he said, could have been a test case for our institutions to rise above other considerations and uphold the supreme principles of justice to open a new chapter of reconciliation in Kashmir, but it has clearly been wasted.
Recalling the 2000 incident, Mufti said not only were five innocent persons killed in cold blood and dubbed as terrorists to cover-up another atrocity at Chattisinhpora, but even innocent people demanding justice were shot down by an insensitive government at Brakpora.
He said the PDP president, Mehbooba Mufti had been the first to reach Pathribal, in spite of the government trying to prevent her from doing so. The people of the area had demonstrated and the National Conference government had used its usual tool- force-to silence them, resulting in more deaths.
Mufti said there was an urgent need for taking bold initiatives and changing mind sets to ensure justice in J&K, but, unfortunately, there has been a huge deficit on that score. “While there is a genuine outrage at Khirki incident in New Delhi, the opposite of it is seen in J&K, where all institutions, from the local police station to the highest court in the land, have for the last 15 years not been able to deliver justice or provoke a national debate, even though five innocent citizens of the same country were picked up like lambs for slaughter,” he said.
The PDP patron said, “The challenge before us is to end double standards when it comes to enforcing law in J&K and other parts of the country. The sooner we do that, the easier it will be to resolve Kashmir tangle.”
However, Mufti said the incidents as in Pathribal are continuing to take place and the state government thinks its role does not go beyond shedding some cosmetic tears. He said the recent example was the killing of four innocent persons allegedly by BSF in Gool, last year, where the chief minister pronounced a verdict even before the enquiry declaring the BSF innocent. Though, an enquiry has been promised into the Gool incident and a court martial ordered in Macchil fake encounters, the army verdict in Pathribal has further reduced the confidence level of people in any such exercises.