Srinagar: The killings in Shopian are proving to be too testing for the present dispensation. The killings which no doubt could have been avoided were triggered by an unplanned decision of an army officer who violated the police advisory to avoid the area for the day as the locals were already pumped up after a killing of a local militant in Chaigund village in the same locality.
The killing of two youth that too in such a way that the protestors were targeted to kill seems evident the way bullet injuries have been witnessed. The two causalities had head injuries and the third youth who is battling for life too has grievous head injuries caused by a bullet.
The incident has triggered resentment and outrage not only among the separatist quarters but even among the mainstream political circles. The main opposition party national Conference has taken up the issue with utmost seriousness and on Monday the legislators of the party demanded an adjournment motion into the killings in the ongoing assembly session which was accepted and a discussion was held on this serious issue.
No wonder the former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the Chief Minister only knows to play politics on dead bodies. But during his speech he made some observations which everyone needs to ponder over.
The present government needs to show some seriousness over some measures that too concrete, to end the cycle of bloodshed and violence in Kashmir. Though, the opposition members offered all possible help and support in this direction, but it is the Chief Minister who has to take a call.
The government, which has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident needs to get the probe complete in two weeks time and ensure that the case is put on a fast track to get all the guilty officials punished. Notably, the police have already filed a murder case against the army, but this time round the government needs to put its foot down and ensure that the guilty are punished.
The Chief Ministers assurance that her government will take the case to its logical conclusion needs to be based on some hard speaking. Mere words or announcements will have least bearing on the situation as some right wing legislators have been defying the police action in open and have been issuing irresponsible statements which will dent any peace moves that are being taken in the state.
Giving army a clean chit to kill and injure does not augur well for the very spirit and ethos of a democratic setup. Army is no doubt meant to kill, but kill whom. An armed enemy or an unarmed civilian whom the state as well as the central government takes pride in saying that they are our own young boys who have gone astray.
The Chief Minister has a role to play and her role will ensure whether the Valley will head towards peace or this summer too it will be the same old story of protests, calendars and shutdowns followed by more and more civilian killings.