Srinagar: Alleging that the Kulgam blast that left seven civilians dead was a result of non-compliance of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami demanded a judicial inquiry in the incident to fix responsibility.
“The killing of unarmed innocent civilians’’ has deeply shaken the whole valley. Legitimate question of the people is whether the tragedy could have been averted,” Mr Tarigami, who is the MLA from Kulgam, told reporters during a press conference here on Thursday.
Three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed in an encounter by security forces at village Laroo in Kulgam on Sunday. However, immediately after the encounter, a large number of people gathered there when a blast took place leaving seven dead and scores injured.
The Kulgam MLA said the SOP of 2012 makes it mandatory for security forces to sanitise the encounter site before leaving. Why was it not done in Larro, Kulgam, he asked.
Mr Tarigami said strong voices are emerging in and outside the state that a credible inquiry should be held to fix the responsibility so that such tragedies could be avoided in future.
“Will the government heed to this demand is to be seen. Though no amount of money could heal the wounds of the families of the victims, they should be provided jobs under SRO-43 to give them some relief,” he said.
He said what happens in Kashmir today is of course a matter of life and death for its citizens. “But it is also a test case for the policies of Government of India pursued in relation with Kashmir,” he said.
“While violence has engulfed Kashmir, but the response of Government of India has only been disproportionate force, which has compounds the vicious cycle of violence. Instead of listening to the grievances of Kashmiris and resolving the issue through a credible process of dialogue, the BJP government’s stubborn attempts to subdue people’s political aspirations is making the situation worse,” he said.
“If to address the anger of younger generation is any priority for the present administration, it must give a clear cut direction to the law enforcing agencies to desist from using excessive force. Indiscriminate arrests, registering cases and slapping PSAs is not going to solve the problem,” he said.
However, he said contrary to this, the present dispensation in New Delhi led by BJP, continue to refuse to draw lessons from the previous mistakes, but has compounded the problem in the last more than four years and thereby deepened the alienation and mistrust among the people further.
He said the Modi government consistently refuses to initiate a political dialogue with all the political forces, including the voices of dissent.
This, he said, has resulted in a number of young men joining the militants. “For the last three years, there has been a steady escalation in violence. Dozens of unarmed people got killed and a number of people injured. This disastrous policy of the government is alienating more sections of the population and driving number of youth to militancy,” he added.