SRINAGAR: J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar has strongly condemned the “thrashing of a shopkeeper and vandalising his property including damage to a number of private vehicles, by army” in Midoora village of Tral Pulwama and demanded an impartial and immediate enquiry into the matter.
Bar Association in a statement expressed solidarity with the victim families of Pathribal and Barakpora of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, where “five civilians were picked up from different parts of the district and killed in a stage managed fake encounter by army on 5 March 2000 and subsequently, eight more persons, who were protesting against it, were killed in Barakpora by police and CRPF and dozens were injured by use of brute force”.
The Bar maintains that even though the army authorities have closed the case and the writ petition filed by the victim families against the said order has been dismissed by the High Court but in view of law laid down by the Supreme Court in case titled “Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association v/s Union of India”, the victim families are still entitled to agitate the matter before other forums including the criminal court, for, the law is now well settled that if an offence is committed by an army personal, there is no absolute immunity from trial against him, by the criminal court under the Cod of Criminal Procedure, the statement said.
The Association has also ridiculed the statement of Amit Shah, the BJP president, that “India will respond with a bomb to every Pakistani bullet, being the only solution for Pakistan and that India can’t have peace talks amid bullets and bombs”, saying that India and Pakistan are two nuclear powers and attacking each other with bombs and bullets is no solution to Kashmir problem and such kind of “belligerent” approach will bring devastation and destruction in the subcontinent.
Bar said it firmly believes that the Kashmir dispute has to be settled by the two countries through a meaningful, sustained, sincere and result-oriented dialogue, keeping in view the aspirations of the people of Kashmir and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, which provide for granting them the right of self-determination, by holding a plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations.
“It is therefore in the interests of both India and Pakistan to initiate the process of dialogue, so as to bring an end to the genocide and bloodshed of people of Kashmir, which is going on for the last 70 years, with impunity,” the Bar statement said.