Various videos on the social media showing mainstream political workers being targeted and subject to severe questioning by some gunmen and threatening them to disassociate from the political organizations, mainly mainstream-have gone viral.
These videos have once again reminded us that the situation is growing worse, especially in South Kashmir and what is being claimed by various security agencies about the return of normal situation is just an explanation of buying more time.
The videos and the happenings on ground suggest that the situation is more or less back to square one. The attacks on mainstream political activists by suspected gunmen have intensified over past week which is reminiscence about difficult times they had faced in early 1990s.
Targeting and killing of civilians in no way can be justified. Be it political activists or for that matter other civilians that are killed under the garb of being army informers or whatever-cannot be justified. The militant as well as the separatist leadership too have many a times offered their views on these issues and have condemned these killings.
Civilians must not be targeted under any circumstances. People’s political or personal associations cannot become a reason for them to come under attack. State authorities should investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice swiftly. If the state too saves its face from the situation then a chaotic situation is imminent.
The attack and targeting of civilians is a human rights abuse and no civilized nation can tolerate such gross violations. The issue becomes all the more contentious when we as a nation claim to be oppressed. If we are raising our voice against oppression then suppression cannot be a tool for us to achieve our aim.
We live in a civilized setup where anybody can hold divergent views on issues and there is no harm in doing that. But using violence and intimidation to force ones ideology or political will on others is unfortunate and shameful.
The political space is undoubtedly shrinking in Kashmir Valley. The incidents of attacks and intimidation will impact the functioning of mainstream political parties which are known as pro-Indian forces. But in doing so we are losing our own people to violence and violence in all forms needs condemnation from all those who believe in sanity.
Moreover the killings, intimidation and harassment of ordinary people by suspected armed group members can never be justified, and should stop immediately. This way alone we can claim to be representatives of the race called humans.