Monday, June 13, 2011

Indian-held Kashmir: One year after the killing of Tufail Ahmed Matto

 
A year has gone by but it is difficult to shun the ghost of June 11, 2010 all across Kashmir Valley. It follows you wherever you go – from home to work place to streets – even amidst a semblance of routine hum drum of life, which goes on, as usual.

Last year on June 11, when Tufail Mattoo was hit by a tear-gas shell, it was beyond anyone’s imagination that the next few months would unfold the most turbulently tragic times in Kashmir. 118 deaths followed the revelation of Machil fake encounter killings in May last year, sparking protests during which Tufail Mattoo, returning home from tuitions, was the first to be killed. The vicious cycle followed claiming many more lives, leaving hundreds injured, many still recuperating and battling for life, many maimed and scarred for the rest of their lives amid a long period of shutdowns and curfews. It was not simply for the scale of violence and brutal deaths over a period of five months, during which time everything else including economy came to a halt, which made the summer of 2010 the biggest tragedy in the history of two decade long Kashmir’s armed conflict. It was accentuated by the official response of denial – negation of any wrong doing on part of the men in uniform who went on a killing spree and refusal to even lodge cases in accordance with law. But going by the track record of two decades, this official response revealing the ugly pattern of impunity, wasn’t so unusual.

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See also, Urdu Weekly Rehbar, p.3
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