CIRCULATED ENGLISH MONTHLY OF J&K
A News Magazine of Kashmiri Pandit Community
|| Home | December 16th-31st, 1999 ||
December 16th - 31st, 1999
STATE GOVT FLOATS RETURN BALLON AGAIN
KS CorrespondentThe displaced Pandit Community is angry at the reported State government move to shift the Pandit families back to the Valley. An official spokesman of the government recently said that the government has identified 170 clusters for the rehabilitation of Pandits in the vicinity of their original places of living in the Valley. It was said that each cluster would comprise at least 5 houses which can be made habitable by carrying out minor repairs, wherever necessary.
The displaced community is amused at the “urgency” displayed by the government in shifting Pandits back at a time when the government is still groping in dark for measures to protect the security forces from the attacks.
Secondly, by reducing entire rehabilitation process to the housing problem and just 850 families, the government has only exposed itself. It neither has sensitivity nor comprehension of the magnitude of rehabilitation problem, the community members feel. It may be recalled that presently at Jammu alone there are more than 29000 displaced Pandit families.
The Pandit Community had migrated from Kashmir due to collapse of law and order and the breakdown of secular structure. The State government and the NGO’s have done nothing to restore Hindu-Muslim relations in Kashmir. It is rebuilding of secular edifice in Valley and restoration of Pandits’ rights that holds the key to return process.
Any comprehensive dialogue between the two communities
has to refocus on these issues and not reduce the dialogue process to seeking
immunity against physical attacks. This was general reaction to the “chance”
meeting between Pt CL Gadoo, the Delhi Samiti President and Mirwaiz Umar
Farooq the Hurriat leader, held at Delhi recently. Many Pandit organisations
have strongly reacted against the State government’s handling of the return
Recently Dr Shakti Bhan Convener and Mrs Nancy
Kaul General Secretary of the Daughters of Vitasta (DoV) called on Union
Home Minister, Mr LK Advani. They expressed serious concern over the State
government’s handling of Pandits’ return process and charged that its high
publicity focus on return only led to massacres against the community.
The Union Home Minister was asked to intervene in the matter and stop the
State government from further complicating the return process. Mr Advani
is reported to have assured the delegation that the Union Home Ministry
was quite alive to the situation.
Meanwhile, various Pandit organisation are gearing
up for undertaking a nationwide campaign on the handling of the return
process by the State government and its continued discriminatory
attitude against the Pandits.
Tricolour over Kashmir
TERRITORY, PEOPLE AND THE NATION-STATE
By Dipankar GuptaJingoism is allegiance to soil and territory, but so also is patriotism. Patriotism, however, goes a step further. It is also concerned with people who live on the soil. This is what separates patriotism from jingoism. As patriotism puts people on a par with the soil, jingoists are never happy with it. Jingoism is dismissive of people and of cultural diversities. It is solely besotted by considerations of territory. A patriot is also devoted to the soil but realises that the best way of firming up national boundaries is by paying attention to the people who live within it. It needs to be underlined though that in both instances territory is critically important.
It is said that when Napoleon’s army marched into Russia he was welcomed by Russian peasants in the hope that his dispensation towards them would be kinder than that of the absolutist Tsar. The situation changed dramatically when Hitler attacked Russia. By then, Russia had become a nation-state and Hitler met with stiff resistance. Every Russian fought against the Nazi invasion and read Pushkin to keep their spirits alive. It is not as if the Russians then were all committed to communism. Their strongest commitment at that point was to territory.
The nation-state is popular endorsement of territory. This implies that in all authentic nation-states territory is sacralised. Territorial acquisitions are not just a matter of geography, there is a profound sense of cultural attachment to them. It is quite useless to look for rational reasons behind this sentiment. The initial fervour towards it could well have been fuelled by the desire to overcome feudalism and its localised despotism. But one way or another the end product has been a supra-local endorsement of territory.
There is no single privileged path to the formation of nation-states. Several nation-states came into being after severe civil strife between the ancien regime and the democratic masses. There are other known instances when a prolonged war helped to create a sense of ‘nation-stateness’. In many developing countries, such as India, anti-colonial movements gave birth to nation-states. Though the starting points may be vastly different for different nation-states, the end product is without exception the same. Territory is always consecrated on a popular basis in every full bodied nation-state.
The compulsions of territory run very deep into the foundations of all nation-states. In fact, a nation is an unfinished entity if it does not have the state component linked to it. With state comes territory and with it the final realisation of the national project. This is why India’s cultural diversity does not make it a continent of many nations. If that were so each linguistic province in our country would be straining towards sovereignty.
The coming together of diverse people in the making
of a territorial unity called the nation-state does not mean that this
sentiment excludes all other kinds of loyalty. When Maharashtra became
a linguistic province in 1959 some feared that this might lead to the balkanisation
of India. But that did not happen, it was not even remotely on the
cards. Nevertheless, at the level of the nation-state this popular acquiescence
over territory can brook no compromise. If any part of the country secedes,
it is not as if the rest of it can carry on with business as usual. The
entire edifice of the nation-state and its territorial lineaments will
be brought into question.
Win over Hearts
At this point it is almost impossible to open
up the Kashmir question to international adjudication and hope that the
Indian nation-state will remain unchanged and unmoved by it. While it is
difficult to find broad-based support anywhere in India for letting Kashmir
go, there are at least two different ways of looking at it--one jingoist
and the other patriotic. The jingoist would say that regardless of what
happens to the people of Kashmir and what they think of the Indian Union,
the land mass of Kashmir belongs to India. If some people do not like that
they should leave the country and go to Pakistan. The patriot would not
cede territory either, but would do the utmost to win over the hearts of
the people of Kshmir to forge a stronger Indian Union.
It is, therefore, quite immaterial what resolutions the United Nation passes, or what world opinion thinks about Kashmir. Letting go of Kashmir will have serious repercussions on the entire Indian Union. The compact will be unsettled and there will be secessionist wars and divisive slaughter across the country. The tragedy of Kashmir will be multiplied several times over. If Kashmir goes it will probably take India down with it. This is why the best option on Kashmir today is the patriot’s option, and the worst is to listen to international opinion. If the tricolour does not fly over Kashmir it won’t fly over many other parts of India as well.
--Courtesy: Times of India
The state of the State : India’s Painful Transition
Disavowing Indian nationhood
By Mohit SenThe CPI(M) has come a long way in its practice since the fateful days in mid-1964 when it decided to cast off the “soiled shirt” of the CPI and establish itself as a party. It had the aim of being recognised as the most uncompromising opponent of what is considered was a semi-compradore state. It raised the banner of confiscating all imperialist concerns and of smashing the Constitution.
It has, of course, done nothing of the kind. On the contrary, the CPI(M) has demonstrated that it is the embodiment of a specific type of unity of opposites--dogmatic in theory and free for all in practice. There is though, a particular dogma that it has not abandoned. It is a dogma which still shapes important facets of its practice. This is the dogma that India is a multinational country.
This dogma has a long history in the theoretical framework which the undivided CPI sought to construct from the 1920s onwards. India was first conceptualised as a multinational country. This was the view of MN Roy. Among his many de-Indianising efforts vis-a-vis the communist movement in our country this was one of the less important. His India in Transition published in 1921 likens India on the eve of the British conquest to Europe in the period of the formation of the nation states on that continent. This view of his was not at all known outside a small circle, largely consisting of returned Indian communists from Berlin.
The CPI did not concern itself with the identity of India until that identity was challenged by the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan based on the two-nation theory. To counter that demand and to win back those Muslims who had come under the influence of the Pakistan slogan, the CPI had a close look at our history and existing reality. It came to the conclusion in 1943 that India was a multinational entity. Some of the nationalities were Muslim majority ones. All nationalities, including those last mentioned, should have the right of secession in a free India. The CPI, however, stressed that it stood for Indian unity, opposed the two-nation theory and desired Cono be reinforced by pointing out that none other than Gandhiji had in 1920 reorganised the Congress on this basis. It was overlooked that the Mahatma effected this reorganisation only to make the Congress more accessible to the masses so as to give Indian unity wider foundations. It was not done by rejecting the concept that India was a nation.
The CPI suck to the multinational concept even after independence. In the period when BT Ranadive was its General Secretary this concept was embellished. The discovery was made that not only was India multinational but that the Marwari-Gujarati bourgeoisie, as the leading collaborator with imperialism, oppressed the other nationalities of India.
The CPI, however, began to overcome its infantile
disorders in the mid-1950. It abandoned the theory of India being a collection
of nationalities even though it was in the forefront of the struggle for
basing the Indian Union on linguistic States but with a strong Centre.
The CPI(M) had begun to move away somewhat in its practice from this theory. After Indira Gandhi’s electoral setback in 1977 it joined hands with the Janata Party, which included the Jan Sangh. It began to believe that an all-India anti-Congress front would be brought into being and could succeed. This belief was reinforced in 1989 when it supported the National Front Government together with the BJP. Jyoti Basu and Atal Behari Vajpayee raised aloft their clasped hands at mass meetings in Calcutta. This obviously was no time for the CPI(M) to raise the banner of multinationalism.
At present it has become a component of the United Front formed to keep the BJP out of power but with Congress support. It projects the UF as the vehicle of federalism. That federalism itself is projected as the most appropriate institutional-isation of Indian unity based on multinationalism.
Harkishen Singh Surjeet has recently written that multinational Indian unity was achieved during the struggle for freedom. For him Indian unity was not national unity but that of a country united by colonialism and united to overthrow that rule. In effect this means that there was no India before the British came with their railways, their troops and their exploitation.
This is thoroughly wrong. It can, of course, be
asked as to when the different nationalities of India came into being.
Was it before, during or after the freedom struggle? Why was there no separate
freedom struggle, say, of the Bengalis or of the Sindhis or Maharashtrians
or Tamils? Why was there the Indian National Congress, the CPI, the AITUC,
etc? Were these all formed because the British, even negatively, had laid
the basis of Indian consciousness?
India did not come into being as did the Soviet Union. The latter was formed by different nations agreeing to a Union in 1922 and disintegrated also by agreement in 1991. The Indian nation was formed by history and will not disintegrate till history ends.
The diversity of India expresses its unity. Linguistic
formations are a part of this expression. The Indian national state and
the development of the national economy require and reinforce this unity.
Whatever the temporary setbacks this unity will, in the not so long run,
destroy those who seek to weaken or destroy it. The CPI(M) would do well
to advance from corporatism and parochialism to nationalism.
ON THE SHORES OF THE VITASTA
By M.K. Santoshi"On the shores of theVitasta" is a collection of four novels about Kashmiri women by Parneeta Khar. The novelist was born and brought up in Kashmir and completed her education there itself.
The present collection is the testimony of her deeprooted love for Kashmir, deepened further after the eruption of militancy in the Valley. The theme of her present literary work is not current political upheavals in Kashmir but the changing psyche of its people. The novelist has selected early fiftees as the period for her four novellas. The writer’s aim seems to be to highlight the changing times and women’s role in it. It goes to the credit of Parneeta Khar that she has cast her women characters in these four novellas in challenging circumstances and exhibited their courage and wisdom. The sociological study of her community with all its negativity has really helped the novelist in her descriptions.
The feudal outlook of Kashmiri people has been dilated in these four novellas. But the main aim seems to be to highlight the role of women in social and domestic prosperity against male dominance.
In the story ‘Pamposh’ one of the leading characters Shyama voices the concern of the novelist in these words- “women are no more the unclaimed-slaves of men. Women will have to come free of these shackles and progress by their own efforts.” There were times when morsels of women were grudged, when in a husband’s house she was never served a curry to wet her rice. When they were taught to curb their desires, when they had to learn obedience so that they would not revolt under oppressive conditions. ‘Umavati’ the grandmother in the story ‘Pamposh’ represents the old social order but her daughter-in-law Shyama is total negation of the the traditional thinking. She brings up her children in the unorthodox manner.
The caste restrictions ars still followed among Kashmiri Pandits but not with such intensity as is followed in other communities. But a few decades ago slackness in caste considerations was not acceptable. Bulbul of the story ‘the gap and the bridge’ becomes the worst victim of caste barriers. This story can indeed be called a love story. The novelist has chosen a Pujari boy as its hero and the daughter of a family proud of its name in the society as its heroine. The new upliftment of the pujari family upsets Sunderlal (father of Bulbul). He could not reconcile how a boy whose forefathers had survived on the charity and alms of Sunderlal’s forefathers. Father a pujari and son an engineer, this social-imbalance is going to cause havoc; thought Sunderlal. But Bulbul partly to rectify his father’s attitude and partly to console herself, implores upon Lassa the son of a pujari and her old time lover to give his name to her child who henceforth shall be called neither by Vasant Razdan nor Vasant Koul bu Vasant Sharma. The novelist truly disapproves of caste-consciousness and advocates a more progressive attitude in our social relations.
‘Ruby among Pearls’ is a story par excellence. It exposes the pseudoasceticsm of our society as a blot on the name of our pious-heritage. It ridicules those who use Swamis as a camouflage to conceal their illusions.
All the four novellas in this collection are domestic in their structure. They reveal as such the domestic-parodoxes of our society but without going satirical. Infact the novelist has surprisingly avoided satrical utterances. In the novellas, there come many such occasions, when she could use satire like a whip but she chooses to let it go. Sometimes such gentleness of a writer is not appreciated by the readers. But Parneeta Khar’s success in writing these novellas is to bring to focus those times when in Kashmir new thinking was taking shape particularly among women. Bulbul, Chuni or Keshani represent this new thinking. In trying circumstances her representative female characters with all their novel thoughts emerge victorious. The gender consciousness of the novelist seems to be the motivating force of these stories. The behaviour psychology of Kashmiri people has found a genuine place in this book and then love for exhibitionism and worldly excellence are also focussed at.
Parneeta Khar has a flowing style and easy vocabulary. She does not mean to impress the reader with her knowledge of the English language but uses it as a medium of her expression to reach to those people who live in diaspora. She is here different from those-exile writers of Kashmir who have not yet overcome their nostalgia. Parneeta Khar shares no such nostalgia with these writers. She has depicted those times when Kashmiri women were fighting for a new identity and a new place in the society. The book as such has a sociological relevance. The usage of ethnic words have found liberal place in these novellas. A good list of such words can be presented. A few of such ethnic words are-Pheran, Gobra, Atgath, Khos, Dejhour and Dongas. Its usage can not be irksome even to those readers who are non-Kashmiris as their English translation is kept attached. It will instead definitely enrich their vocabulary. On the ‘shores of the vitasta’ is a literary piece of writing where in there are no guns, no terrorists, no violence, no crackdowns, no refugees’ camps no hatred, nothing of the sort. It takes us to those times when our mothers were struggling hard to prove their worth. A good sociological reading apart from its literary merits.
The writer is a well-known Hindi poet and a short-story writer.
‘ON THE SHORES OF THE VITASTA’--
HOW PAKISTAN FINANCES TERRORISM IN KASHMIR
Diplomatic CorrespondentContrary to the general impression, the proxy war being waged by Pakistan against India has not been cost free or of relatively lower cost to Pakistan. Pakistan has to invest heavily for luring in the mercenaries from within the country, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries. While religious brain washing does play its part, but the final motivation depends on the financial temptations. Then there are costs involved in training these hired killers, equipping them, keeping track in the Valley and staying in communication with them. Nearly two-thirds get killed. If the mercenary pipeline is to remain uninterrupted, families of the slain mercenaries are to be liberally compensated through one time cash payments and pensions.
Pakistan has not only been running this campaign for the last decade or so but has enlarged its scope. This year has seen massive induction of few thousand mercenaries into J&K. Many more are being listed for future induction. Brazen support of the military dictator, Pervez Mushraff to the Muridke conference of Lashkar-e-Toiba should dispel all doubts about the real intentions of Mushraff in the coming days. Where does such huge funds come from? Who are the beneficiaries? How can India break the financial infrastructure of the terrorist campaign? The counter-insurgency response has to address this dimension in all seriousness, if the campaign is to be carried back into the enemy’s camp.
Sensational details have been revealed by the
intelligence studies about the financial network of the terrorist campaign.
Source of Funds
In Kashmir, as per reports, the ISI is working in collaboration with the All Party Hurriyat Conference and its affiliate Jamaat Islami and the United Jehad Council. The terrorist network in Kashmir mobilises funds through extortions from traders, contractors, affluent people and ransom money through kidnappings. Media reports have referred to the looting of the state funds also.
Before pushing the terrorists into the Valley,
the militants are stuffed with large amounts of cash (both Indian and Pakistani
The local militants engaged by the ISI are all, as per reports, working on monthly salary basis getting between Rs 2500 to Rs 5000, depending on various factors. The foreign mercenary is paid between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000. The family of the slain terrorist gets Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 a month. When the foreign mercenary enters into a two-year contract, he is paid Rs 2 lakh to move to Kashmir. After the contract tenure is over, he gets another Rs 5 lakh as a final payment. The widespread poverty in Afghanistan and certain areas of Pakistan has forced many youth to take the bait.
How ISI lures the Kashmiris is also interesting. A guide gets between Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000, a porter between Rs 7,500 and Rs 2,000, while the motivator is paid Rs 5,000. The militancy has become a flourishing business in Kashmir. A militant gets Rs 150 for throwing a grenade and Rs 6,000 for winter clothing. ISI also pays terrorists a bonus for every Indian soldier killed: Rs 7000 to the rank of major, Rs 50,000 for a lieutenant Colonel and Rs 1 lakh for a Brigadier and above. All this establishes how Pakistan is maturing from a confessional to a terrorist state.
Meanwhile, sources say that the security experts have conveyed to the government that unless the financial backbone of the terrorist campaign is broken, the security operations are likely to remain a reactive effort.
Reports say the Centre has already formulated
a plan to tackle this menace. All benami transations and properties of
people directly or indirectly connected with the Kashmir militancy in J&K
and in the rest of India are to be tracked down. Strict instructions have
been issued to the banking managements to cooperate in unearthing the terrorist
sources of funds. The centre is also tightening the Vigilance authorities
in this matter, the reports said.
ISI RESTRUCTURES ITS STRATEGY
By D.P. Roy
The fascist leadership of these quasi-religious militias openly exhorted their cadres for terrorist attacks against India.Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen said that there would be repeat of Kargil after the snow melts. Throwing all norms of state to state relations to winds, Gen Musharaff expressed solidarity with detained Jamaat Islami leader Geelani.
ISI is readjusting its strategy to escalate and
upgrade the terrorist campaign in J&K. Its new designs are to destabilise
North Indian cities. Reactivating Punjab theatre is aimed at forcing dispersal
of Indian forces over a wider area and weaken anti-insurgency operations
in Kashmir. It appointed the notorious former ISI chief, Lt Gen (Retd.)
Javed Nasir as president of the Pakistan Gurudwara Prabandak Committee.
This hurt the feelings of the Sikh community. Secondly, a top Pakistani
smuggler, Taaj Hussain Seth has been given 2500 acres of land on a 99-year
lease at Lahore for training Sikh extremists. ISI has also been pushing
arms into New Delhi. In September last, security forces seized a truck,
carrying weapons from Kupwara to New Delhi.
The main infiltration routes the terrorists have been through Poonch Rajouri, Samba, Uri and Gulmarg sectors. On an average three to five militants cross international border per day. Some local Gujars of Samba, Ramgarh work as courriers and provide shelters. Kathua police also arrested a forest guard, Chuni Lal at village Jasath for allegedly providing shelter to one ISI agent Mohd Ajaz.
ISI has shifted operational base from Muzaffarabad
to Khuiratta and Kotli. Another route of infiltration is via Nepal and
Bangladesh. Terrorists come on “valid passports” to these countries and
sneak into India as Indian “citizens”. Mosques and Madrassas in border
areas are being used to facilitate this.
Pakistan embassy in New Delhi has been in active
contact with terrorists groups in J&K. The security forces recently
nabbed a terrorist at Banihal, who said that he had contacts with organisations
in Iran, Egypt and Mr Qazi Ashraf Jehangir, the Pak High Commissioner in
ISI is using new elements for subversion. The terrorists are using women and children to observe movement of security forces and planting solar activated IEDs. These IEDs normally explode between 12 noon and 2 PM, when there is rise in temperature.
Women are forced to accompany militants to escape
police detection. Hindu youth with criminal background are also being drafted
into militancy. One, Sanjay Gandhi was arrested at Latti Duna in Ram Nagar,
Udhampur recently in this connection.
According to weapon experts, rockets used by Pakistan’s low-flying fighter aircraft to hit targets on ground have now been given to militants, who are trying to use them frequently in Poonch, Rajouri and Kupwara districts. These rockets are equipped with solar batteries and photoelectric cells.
During the past one year the security forces recovered six surface to air and surface to surface missiles in Poonch-Kupwara districts. “Jumping mines” of East-European origin, which were used extensively in Balkans war have also reached the terrorists. For the first time 107 ballistic missile was seized by Army troops this month from village Lassana in Surankote during a search operation. There is fear that the Russian equivalent of anti-stinger missiles used against Soviet troops in Afghanistan may have also come. Other sophisticated weapons include 14” long rocket launchers fitted with silencers, which can be transported on scooters. Flame throwers were inducted in 1998 to target ammunition points, besides oil depots and essential supply lines.
What is worrying the security forces is that the militants are yet to use these large calibre weapons. Presently they seem to be stock-poiling enough of these for a bigger operation in the future.
The Pak sponsored terrorists have also been fabricating
explosive devices locally. Last June, the Army seized five indigeniously
designed bombs fabricated in the vehicles fuel tanks. One of the car bombs
was capable of carrying 80 kgs of devastating plastic explosives. The otherbombs
were made up of shaped charges placed outside modified fuel tanks with
plastic explosives. As per weapon experts, these charges are capable of
piercing armour plating.
In the Marwah valley ace Afghan and Pak shooters
have established a training centre. This joint training centre being run
by Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen are giving training in handling
IEDs and grenades to youth from Kishtwar, Udhampur, Doda, Bhadarwah, Anantnag,
Pulwama and Shopian.
Pakistan has been making attempts to capture strategic
posts in Kupwara, Lolab, Keran, Bungus, Gurez, Machel, Tanghdar. Several
forest belts of Rajawar, Jumugand, Bud Nambal, Bungus, Trehgam have become
safe heaven for mercenaries. Pushing heavy groups of mercenaries in the
5-10 km border belt inside has a definite design to sandwich the Indian
security forces. Even before start of Kargil infiltration scores of Pak
infiltrators had visited 20 scarcely populated villages in border belt
of Bandipore and told villagers to vacate the region to avoid death or
injury during operation they intended to carry out against security forces.
In October the entire 6 Division was used to saturate Rajawar forests.
This did scatter terrorists and snapped their communications, but yielded
few immediate results.
During the last few months a plethora of appeals by parents to missing youth have been appearing in local dailies. In the psy war campaign, the terrorist sponsors have been pressurising the aggrieved parents to file FIRs in police stations and accuse police of holding missing youth.In many cases parents do not even report cases ofmissing children for fear of drawing attention of security forces.
The local recruitment had virtually come to a halt after the Hazratbal crisis in 1993. Those who had been involved in the armed campaign in early years were either eliminated or had seen the futility of attritional violence. ISI is specifically targetting the new generation in 12-18 years group. In 1990 their age was 2-8 years and are easily lured by violence. They have grown up in violence during last decade.
Most of new local recruits belong to extremely poor families or have criminal background. Their education profile shows that none of them has an education above matriculation. This recruitment thus has nothing to do with unemployment, as claimed by Kashmir “experts”.
Poor families fall prey to the financial allurements.
Other tactics used by terrorist sponsors to hook local youth are religious
brainwashing in Jamaat and “residential” schools, abductions, and blackmail.
Terrorists threaten the parents that their daughters would be taken if
they desisted from giving their sons. Boys are posed with militants and
told the same photographs would be shown to the security forces. In other
cases huge ransom money is demanded.
Security agencies have cautioned VIPs to be extra cautious in accepting gift packets. During last few days J&K police arrested sixteen boys from various places in Udhampur. The militants had planned to plant bombs in vehicles and then park them in crowded areas. As per police report, the two groups of Hizbul Mujahideen owing allegiance to Shakeel and Farooq Ansari have been drafted by ISI for this joint action. The police had unravelled the link by arresting one Abdul Latif aged 50 years who allegedly was luring local youth and also served their guide. Latif was working as a teacher in Govt. Higher Secondary School at Gulbabgarh.
For the first time in last ten years there were
two bomb blasts at Ramban bus stand. Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami has also been
targetting informers and other sympathisers of the security forces. Some
have been kidnapped. Among the kidnapped was Amin Banihali, a folk singer.
Banihali was kidnapped from a marriage party. Surrendered militants have
also started receiving threats from HUJI activists. The failure of the
government in providing adequate security to informers has forced many
of them to migrate from their respective areas, thus hampering the intelligence
MATTOO CASE ACCUSED ACQUITTED“He is the man, I give him benefit of doubt”
“Accused had the motive to kill”
“IG used influence and office to save son”
“Investigation agencies responsible for such an end of the case”
By Aditi KoulNEW DELHI: A Delhi Court acquitted Santosh Kumar Singh the accused in the Priyadarshini Mattoo’s murder. The case had hit headlines in Jan 1996, when Priyadarshini Mattoo a 24 yrs Law student of Delhi University was raped and murdered by the accused; son of a high ranking Indian Police Service Officer J.P. Singh.
Delivering the judgement, the Additional Sessions Judge. J.P. Thareja said; “Though I know that he is the man who committed the crime, I acquit him, giving him benefit of doubt”.
In a 450 page judgement the judge came down heavily
on the role of Delhi Police; “There has been particular inaction by Delhi
Police”; stated the judge.
According to the judgement, he holds the accused’s father IG, Pondicherry, Mr JP Singh, responsible for using his official position to influence the agencies. “The influence of the father has been there in the matter and there was deliberate inaction”.
He further stated that the rule of law doesn’t seem to apply to the children of those who enforce it.
The Delhi police according to the judge attempted to assist the accused during the investigation and trial “Lalit Mohan, the Inspector was instrumental in creating false evidence and false defence for the accused. The witnesses of the police including a Sub-Inspector deposed falsely”.
The judgement held the CBI responsible for unfair investigation and failure to produce Virender Prasad, Mattoo’s household help, which resulted in the obstruction of justice. The judge added that the CBI fabricated the DNA test in the rape case as it was not obtained in accordance with the judicial procedure so as to be admitted in evidence in view of Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act. ASJ, Thaneja observed that the “state had failed to bring home the charge of rape against the accused”.
He added that the evidence must be such as to exclude beyond all certainty every reasonable doubt of the guilt of the accused.
However, the judge made it clear that though Santosh was being given “benefit of doubt”. It was clear that the accused was guilty of murder, considering the circumstancial evidence. Session judge Thaneja said that the accused had ulterior motives and was consequently after her.
“On account of the personality of the accused as that of the tough minded persons the accused committed the barbaric act as has been committed in the present case of the deceased”.
The Judge further added that the injuries on the person of the accused and the helmet with the wire which was later recovered from the accused coupled with false defence taken by the accused, the ball of proof of criminal justice system has been thrown away from the boundary of criminal justice system to beyond reasonable doubt”.
Additional Sessions Judge GP Thaneja said the
state investigations have created a hole in the proof of justice system
by keeping away important evidence therefore considering this the judge
said “I give him benefit of doubt eventhough I know he is the man who commited
DoV Meets Advani
The 3 member delegation of Ms Nancy Kaul, Dr Shakti Bhan and Phoola Tickoo had gone to meet Mr Advani to express their serious concern and anger on the Priyadarshini Mattoo murder case.
The DoV presented a memorandum to the Home Minister drawing his attention towards the serious and gross injustice faced by Priyadarshini Mattoo and her family.
They drew his attention towards the incompetence, lapses and corruption by the investigation agencies: police and the CBI. The DoV said that the police department andIG JP Singh, father of the accused had used influence and office to save the accused and in turn obstructed justice.
They also requested Mr Advani to take, strong and immediate action so that justice, truth, honesty and above all “dignity of life and women do not suffer”. The DoV demanded the following:-
Immediate reopening and reinvestigation of the case by independent and fair body and action against the erring police and investigation officers for allowing the culprit to escape scot free. They also demanded seizure of the accused’s passport and other documents. Regarding the father’s role the DoV maintained that he should be punished severly for using his offices to obstruct justice. The DoV also drew the Home Ministers attention to the redundant laws which need ammendments and change.
After the meeting, Ms Nancy Koul, said that Mr Advani had given them a patient hearing and promised them immediate action. “He is equally concerned by this miscarriage of justice and the role of the police”.
“He promised us, immediate and swift action”, she added.
According to reliable and highly placed sources
it is reportedly said that Mr Advani summoned CBI Director Mr Raghavan
regarding the case.
CBI to appeal against verdict
The court had passed stringent and severe strictures against the police and the CBI while releasing the accused and blamed them of fabricating and withholding evidence to help the accused.
The agency spokesperson, said that they would file an appeal, “CBI will file an appeal against the aquittal in the Delhi High Court. The Director has already issued an order in this regard”.
The Director was studying the 450 page judgement
given by the Additional Sessions Judge, GP Thaneja, “with great care” to
identify various lapses in the investigation pointed out by the judge”.
CBI, Director is deeply concerned over the observations made by the judge
and has directed to special directors in the organisation to study the
judgement and suggest further action”, said the spokesperson.
Muslim Auqaf Trust to set up Islamic varsity
KS CorrespondentSRINAGAR: Dr Farooq Abdullah, the Chief Minister of J&K, who is also the Chairman of J&K Muslim Auqaf Trust announced setting up of an Islamic University in Kashmir. While chairing the general body meeting of the Trust, he said “ulema of Darul Aloom Deoband and other Muslim religious institutes of the country will be consulted to prepare a concept paper for the proposed University”. Dr Abdullah added that the Education Minister and MAT trustee, Mr Shafi will be visiting Deoband, Delhi and other places in this connection. The other trustees of the Trust include Finance Minister, Mr AR Rather, the Works Minister, Mr Ali Mohd Sagar, the Revenue Minister, Mr Abdul Qayum, Sheikh Nazir Ahmed, General Secretary of National Conferrence besides Imams and caretakers of the various Trust administered mosques and shrines.
The Chief Minister said that 116 canals of the
land have been identified for the proposed University at Ganderbal. He
added that Muslim scholars of the State will also be associated with the
task and the main objective of the University would be to impart Islamic
education and carry out research on Islamic literature.
ANJUMAN OPPOSED TO GREATER AUTONOMY
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Dec 6: Minhaz-e-Rasool, a nationalist organisation has urged the Centre not to grant greater autonomy to J&K and initiate strict action against Jamaat-e-Islami run schools in the state. The Anjuman chief, Maualana Syed Athar Dehlvi, who was in Jammu recently alleged that thousands of Jamaat schools in the state had been teaching Pakistan school syllabi. He added these schools were breeding place for communalism and anti-Indian forces.
Mr Dehlavi also called for a Parliamentary resolution
barring talks with Pakistan on Kashmir. He alleged that USA was behind
terrorism in Kashmir and said if influx of foreign mercenaries was not
checked forthwith, Kashmir could became another “Afghanistan or Palestine”.
He advocated the policy of elimination of militants. Maulana demanded the
setting up of a joint intelligence organisation comprising functionaries
of the IB, RAW and state agencies for better monitoring of movement and
plans of militants.
RUSSIA CONCERNED OVER TERRORISM IN KASHMIR
KS CorrespondentIn a special commentary on Kashmir, Radio Moscow said the separatist movements in Chechnya and J&K have links, since some of the leaders and sentiments guiding them are common. It said both were being backed by odious figures like Osama Bin Laden and leaders of fanatic outfits. The state-owned radio noted that it was as part of its efforts to destabilise India that Pakistan suffered an “ignominious fiasco” in its adventure in the Kargil mountain ranges. The Radio added that “Destabilsing the whole of India is the target of the Pakistan separatists”. It said Pakistan was pumping huge amounts of money, arms and mercenaries to keep the strife going in Kashmir as in Chechnya. The Radio expressed the hope that New Delhi and Moscow devised collaborative measures to combat the crisis.
In an interesting development China strongly criticised
the stand of the western world on Russia’s military operation in Chechnya
and lauded Moscow’s “un-compromising fight against terrorists in its own
ARI MASSACRE ACCUSED KILLED
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Dec 7: Two dreaded militants of JKLF, responsible for the massacre of nine members of the minority community at Ari (Poonch) in June last were gunned down by the Army at the neighbouring village Sarhuti. Naseer Ahmed alias Billa, the district commander of JKLF belonged to the same area and had been named by the police as the prime accused. His other collaborator was Syed Hussain Bukhari alias Umar of Kotli, PoK. Naseer had been terrorising the local minority community for a long time.
COUNTER-INSURGENTS INVOLVED IN CAR-JACKING RACKETS
KS CorrespondentA racket in which some counter-insurgents and criminal gangs operating in parts of Northern India are involved has come to surface with the recovery of the cell-phone of the murdered cartoonist Irfan of the OUTLOOK. The racket, which involved disposing of stolen cars from Delhi and adjoining cities in Kashmir, had been going on for past many years. The police recently arrested a gang of six persons. The detained persons told police how they used to intercept and kill the drivers by night and later sell the stolen vehicles to clientele in Kashmir.
The arrest of Faheem, the prime accused in the
murder of Irfan revealed the crucial link in this racket. He had been working
as a denter with a UP-based businessman at Anantnag. This new angle to
the terrorism has alerted the security forces to track down criminal gangs
operating in and around New Delhi.
ADVANI CRITICISES WESTERN BLOC
KS CorrespondentTaking strong exception to the denigration of Indian security forces by some western countries, the Union Home Minister, Mr LK Advani said that the countries which were the worst offenders of Human Rights across the world were criticising India for its alleged rights violations. Mr Advani added that the security forces were working under tremendous pressure and exercising extreme restraint while dealing with people who were least concerned about human rights.
WORLD COMMUNITY URGED TO STOP TERRORISM
KS CorrespondentOn the occasion of the World Human Rights Day, large number of people participated in a signature campaign, urging Pakistan to stop sponsoring cross-border terrorism in the Kashmir valley. The signature campaign was initiated by the Delhi Study Group. In the signature campaign were among others, the children drawn from various schools.
The children raised the plight of the orphaned
children in J&K due to ongoing militancy in the state. They asked the
UN to restrain Pakistan from aiding and abetting cross-border terrorism.
The memorandum submitted by them called upon the world community to take
up the cause of human rights violations in Kashmir by militants and put
effective pressures on those responsible for it.
LADAKHIS WARM UP TO STIR AGAINST AUTONOMY
KS CorrespondentCutting across party affiliations, the people of Ladakh are gearing up to launch a protest agitation against the move of the state government to introduce a Bill on restoration of greater autonomy to J&K within the ambit of the report prepared by the Autonomy Committee in the state legislature. The protest rally on Nov 30 at Leh was jointly organised by members of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, National Conference, the Congress and the BJP. The LBA leader, Tsering Samphel described the move for restoration of greater autonomy to the state as “dangerous” and said that it would further jeopardise the interests of the people of Ladakh and Jammu regions by sub-jugating them to the political leadership of the Kashmir valley.
Mr Samphel compared the greater autonomy demand with the secessionist activities of the militants. He further alleged that the only difference was that while the militants wanted ‘Azadi’ through gun, the National Conference wanted it by tabling a Bill in the Assembly.
Mr Samphel urged the centre not to get “swayed”
by the “sweettongued” Dr Abdullah and realise the gravity of the situation
in the state which could assume alarming dimensions if constitutional status
prior to 1953 was restored to the state. The protestors also demanded separate
staehood for Jammu and Ladakh. They raised anti-Farooq Abdullah slogans
and set ablaze the copies of the autonomy committee report.
INDIA RE-ESTABLISHES LINK WITH PAKISTAN
KS CorrespondentThe two senior cabinet ministers of the Vajpayee-led NDA government harbour no illusions about the sinister role Pakistanis are playing in waging proxy-war against India. The Home Minister LK Advani says that chances of an improvement of relations with Pakistan are unlikely as the present military dictator in Islamabad was responsible for the Kargil infiltration. Mr Jaswant Singh, the External Affairs Minister told Lok Sabha that the statements by Pakistani spokesman after the military coup indicate that Pakistan’s assertions of territorial claims in J&K continue. He also referred to the continued firing across LoC and the sponsorship of cross-border terrorism by Pakistan.
This being the public stance. Are the two countries
again on “talking terms”? Mr Vajpayee’s condolence message to Gen Mushraff
on the demise of his father and the statement of Pakistan Foreign Minister,
Abdul Sattar indicate that silent unofficial diplomacy has again been resumed.
Mr Sattar in his dinner speech hosted for the association of retired Ambassadors
on December 6 said that Islamabad was ready to hold talks with New Delhi
on the basis of agreements already reached between the two sides. It may
be recalled that Gen Mushraff had debunked the Lahore process immediately
after he took over. He had said, “yes there was a process wrocess. Mr Rafiq
Tarar, the President who was present in the dinner meeting echoed Mr Sattar’s
views saying that Pakistan was keen to resume a meaningful result-oriented
dialogue with India and added, “We trust that this process will be revived
in the near future”.
The back-room diplomacy between the two countries is not something new. In 1991, Nawaz Sharif government had sent Mukhtar Masood to India, when Mr Narasimha Rao had done loud thinking on granting “greater” autonomy to J&K. During the Gujral period also, as per informed sources, Mr Nawaz Sharif had tried to warn Mr IK Gujral on granting autonomy, arguing that this could spell the disintegration of the sub-continent.
The American pressure on India for resuming talks
with Pakistan has been going on right from the day, Gen Mushraff staged
a coup. Ambassador celeste, while talking to journalists recently said,
“it will be very valuable for India to engage Pakistan at the highest level
on issues that trouble the relationship between the two countries. We are
concerned that the momentum of the Lahore process is not completely lost.”
Reacting indirectly to the resumption of back-room dialogue, Mr Thomas
Pickering, the US under secretary of State said, “India is responding positively
to its increased dialogue with the USA and we need to take advantage of
that not just for traditional security and economic interests but also
to counter the human rights and environmental concerns”
CENTRE ASKS HURRIYAT TO SPELL-OUT ITS PERSPECTIVE
The Hurriyat leaders have been publicly maintaining that they are not engaged in any dialogue. The dialogue has not been liked by the ruling National Conference, which perceives APHC as its political rival. Dr Farooq Abdullah reacted strongly to the Centre’s recommendation to set free the Hurriyat leaders detained at Jodhpur and other places. He even threatened to resign in case he was pressed to revoke charges against the detained APHC leaders. The J&K government has since extended the detention of 15 top Hurriyat leaders till September 2001.
At the high level meeting called by Mr LK Advani on November 17, the Chief Minister was reportedly asked to explain the charges and the grounds of detention. The State government subsequently sent a detailed report about the activities of the secessionist leaders and exhorted the need to keep them under detention. Dr Abdullah also criticised Hurriyat leaders for “visiting their master in Pakistan embassy in New Delhi and getting money bags from various channels for disturbing peace in the state.”
Hurriyat has been under American pressure to participate in the elections. Mr Richard F.Celeste, the US Ambassador during an interaction with Journalists said that Washington has commended to Hurriyat leaders that “the political process should be basis for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir problem between the two countries”.
For its first official reaction on the dialogue, the Union Home Minister Mr LK Advani told Lok Sabha that Government would consider whether it will be worthwhile to hold negotiations with them “at this juncture” when they were losing support. He also reiterated that talks with militant outfits could be held “only within the framework of the constitution.”
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha MPs of National Conference
also shifted their stand. Mr Ali Mohd Naik, MP elected from Anantnag doubted
whether Hurriyat was at all serious to sort out the problem. He added dialogue
should only be held “provided no conditions were attached by the Hurriyat”.
Mr Naik further reiterated that Hurriyat could do little to end violence
since it had no control over militants operating in the state, particularly
the foreign mercenaries.
RETURN IN CONSULTATION WITH MIGRANTS: RAO
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Dec 12: Union Minister of State for Home, Mr Vidya Sagar Rao said that the final decision on KP’s return will be done in consultation with migrants. He admitted spurt in militant activities but said that situation was within control.
Addressing a press conference, he said that the Union Home Ministry was working on return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits but added that the final decision will be taken in consultation with the migrants’ representatives.
Mr Rao said that the centre was concerned with the problem of border migrants and they will be treated at par with Kargil migrants. He said that though there is spurt in militant activities but the situation is well under control and Pak sponsored militancy will be defeated in the state.
The minister was on two day visit to the state
and visited border migrant camp Devipur and KP migrant camp Purkhoo yesterday
to view their problems personally.
2000 BUNKERS IN KARGIL
KS CorrespondentNEW DELHI, Dec 12: To protect civil population from unprovoked Pakistani firing in border area Central government has planned to construct 2000 underground bunkers in Kargil district. An amount of Rs 4 crore has been approved for the purpose.
KS CorrespondentJAMMU, Dec 8: The state cabinet has decided to hold much talked about Panchayat elections in the state in Feb 2000. The government announced the poll schedule many times but were not held for one reason or the other.
KARGIL OPERATION EXPENDITURE
KS CorrespondentNEW DELHI, Dec 8: In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Union Defence Minister George Fernandes said that an amount of Rs 1984 crore were incurred on Kargil operations. He said that the committee constituted to review the events leading to Pakistani intrusion in Kargil will recommend measures to safeguard nation against such intrusion.
DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IN JAMMU-VHP
KS CorrespondentNEW DELHI, Dec 8: General Secretary Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Acharya Giri Raj Kishore has said that “demographic change” is taking place in Jammu region as Hindus are being driven out of the periphery. He alleged that Farooq Abdullah government is conniving with such forces. He warned about a Kashmir like situation in Jammu.
LPG BOTTLING PLANT
KS CorrespondentSRINAGAR, Dec 11: The Union Petroleum Minister Mr Ram Naik today dedicated a modern LPG bottling plant with capacity of bottling 4,500 cylinders in a single shift to the people of J&K.
The plant has been constructed by Hindustan Petroleum
Ltd. at Pampore in 12 months at cost of Rs 10.50 crore.
KS CorrespondentJAMMU: Shri Sharda Education Foundation run computer centre completed its first six months course in computer application.
Successful candidates were given diploma certificates
by the Chairman of Foundation Shri Swami Shakti Chaitanya at a simple and
impressive function held at Shri Ramakrishna Advaita Ashram, Udaywala Jammu.
Speakingon this occasion Chairman of this Foundation laid stress on acquiring
knowledge in modern skills and techniques in addition to retaining age
old values and culture of our society. Students of second batch too were
present at this functionr
NATURE DOES MIRACLE IN KASHMIR
It is reported that due to long spell of draught
in Kashmir, these trees shed their leaves earlier. But once it rained in
September, these trees sprout leaves and flowers and the crop, though very
less, was produced in less than two months.
INDIA PROTESTS PAK ON LET
Bhasin’s remarks resentedSir,
The International Human Rights Protection Council (Regd), Jammu, condemns the anti-national remarks expressed by Sh Ved Bhasin, former Editor-in-Chief, Kashmir Times, Jammu, during his speech delivered at a seminar on Human Rights organised by 16 Corps, Indian Army at Tiger Auditorium, Jammu on 16th November 99. In his speech, he sharply criticised the role of Indian Army deployed in the State by levelling the charges of Human Rights violations and un-leashing the reign of terror and inhuman atrocities. His assertion was based on very flimsy grounds and far from ground realities.
He should know that the Pakistan has initiated proxy-war in the State. The terrorists deployed by her for subversive activities are disturbing the normal life and destabilising the elected democratic State government. The heinous crimes and massacres are committed by these terrorists. The people of the Kashmir valley have been pushed out in lakhs from their ancestral homes and hearths.
The Indian Army and other forces are protecting
the lives and properties of the people at the cost of their lives. The
Indian Army and the security forces discharge their national responsibility
with full dedication in very difficult situation to restore peace and to
protect the lives and the properties of the civilians.
--Sh. A.N. Bhardawaj
Not Pity-But Love
We have lost our homes, hearths and roots for
which we are pitied expresses with regret that inspite of our big losses,
the dimension of social demerits and moral evils have duped us by modern
models of living.
There are various instances of social evils and moral ills having infected the community in one or the other way simply because we know to pity but not to love.
Christianity is a worldwide religion for they spread the message of love.
In the Valley we were almost leaderless. It was said that every member of the community was a leader. We have had no organisation. Today we are not leaderless. We have many agencies having local-national and international links. We have strong voice through print media. Some institutions agencies and individuals render effective services to the community and shall be remembered by future generations.
Last but not the least. I venture to add that raising of memorials-temples etc is to give credit to our great ancestors who expected us to live gracefully by following their teachings. Moreover; to perform Yagnyas and to lift the sacred fire tells us to light the fire of introspection with the Mantras of self discipline-self-reliance and self realisation to enjoy worthy society and morale.
Let us love but not pity.
I wish you every success in your effort.
i) The flame of going back to our beloved land with honour and dignity one day should be kept burning at all costs. No complacent attitude.
ii) It is the need of the hour. The exigency of circumstances warrant us to forge unity at all fronts and at all levels. We feel it but our self ego comes in the way. It is high time to shun it if we mean to survive as a community. Let us learn to speak in one coherent voice which alone carries weight.
iii) Kashmiri language should be given due place in our house hold. Let us learn from the rest.
PRIYADARSHNI MATTOO CASE
The probe in the murder case has been subverted by influential men at the helm. The KP organisations in Delhi and in Jammu have called for a fresh inquiry into the Priya Mattoo case to ensure speedy justice to the aggrieved family. Otherwise Kashmiri Hindus will feel that neither they got justice in Kashmir nor in Delhi where influence and corruption works.
Delhi police and CBI which were once so famous for quick and prompt action have dismayed Indian people. Common people are now discouraged for approaching to the court.
Let PM, Mr Advani and Delhi police rekindle the faith of common people in justice and win the hearts of crores of people. Killers should not be let loose as it poses a threat to democracy and is a threat to basic fundamental right to live.
Priya Mattoo was raped and killed on 2 January, 1996 at New Delhi.
--Omkar Nath Moza
US DOUBLE POLICY OF NUCLEAR DOCTRINE
But US is the only country who has actually used nuclear low-level forms of nuclear weapon and have regularly used uranium weapons in Iraq and Yugoslavia which create radio active hazard. US zealously retains its right to nuclear first use despite its conventional superannuity. US has no problem with Chian possessing nuclear weapons but has problem when India says, “No first use”. India voluntarily restrained but was forced to go nuclear as it saw the current nuclear establishment wanted to retain its weapons without .. towards universal total disarmament.
Deteriorating focus.. situation in its neighbourhood, growth of medieval Islamic terror and unsche.. nuclear and missile system of China to Pakistan competed India to get ready to defend itself by all means and Kargil is the best proof. Only total disarmament is .. to solve global nuclear problem.
--Omkar Nath Moja