protest-LRS.jpgMass protests are reported to have rocked Srinagar on May 29, during the funeral of three persons alleged to have been killed in a fake encounter by the security forces on April 30.

The police attacked the protestors with tear gas and by firing in the air, according to media reports.

On April 30 personnel of the Rajputana Rifles of the Army claimed to have shot dead three “militants attempting to cross over from the border”, in Machil sector of north Kashmir. The dead bodies were then handed over by the army to the local police who quietly buried them as “unidentified militants”. However due to sustained pressure by the families and neighbors of the victims, who insisted that these were innocent persons and not any “militants from across the border”, the bodies were exhumed on May 28, after the state government ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing.

In the native village of the victims, on May 29, thousands of people blocked a highway by placing the coffins of the killed persons and demanded the arrest of the army men involved in the killing.

According to latest reports, the army has suspended two officers in connection with the “encounter” killing. It has been reported that the three victims were lured by the officers to work for the army, and then killed as “terrorists” in return for awards and promotion. Such “encounter” killings and disappearances as well as rape and murder of women and girls by the security forces has become an everyday affair in Jammu & Kashmir. People are greatly enraged by these activities of the security forces.

The Indian ruling class has never treated the demand of the Kashmiri people for self determination as a political demand that deserves a political solution. Instead, it has been turned into a “law and order” problem. The state propaganda keeps on repeating that “Kashmir is an integral part of India” and anyone who challenges this is branded as a “separatist”, a “threat to the national unity and territorial integrity of India”. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is used to give the armed forces immunity in killing, looting, raping and carrying out all kinds of atrocities on the people there. The strategic location of J&K is always used to justify the heavy army presence under the pretext of "threat from Pakistan" and "threat of terrorism". By periodically holding elections there, under the shadow of the gun, our rulers want to make us believe that there is democracy and a civilian government in place in J&K, but this flies in the face of the experience of the Kashmiri people.

Lok Raj Sangathan condemns the killing of innocent persons by the security forces of the state in fake encounters. LRS demands that the guilty be severely punished, that the armed forces be withdrawn from the Kashmir valley, that the AFSPA be revoked and all human rights violations of the Kashmiri people be immediately stopped. The central government should address the legitimate political demands and concerns of the Kashmiri people and stop using its armed might to crush their aspirations.   

By admin