News Kashmir Exclusive
In the unfortunate land of Kashmir, tragedies and traumas have defined life in Kashmir over the past three decades of violent political conflict.
Pertinently, February is the month of particular pain in Kashmir when two humans from this misfortune hit land were hanged.
More than Thirty years ago on 11 February 1984 one of the stalwart of Kashmir’s pro-freedom movement Muhammad Maqbool Bhat was hanged in the Tihar jail and after 29 years in 2013 the history had repeated itself again when Afzal Guru the main accused in the 13 December, 2001 Indian Parliament Attack Case was sent to gallows in Tihar Jail on 9th February 2013 in utmost secrecy and concealed manner by the Indian State, for a crime in which there was circumstantial evidence against him. It is also a depressing reality that hanging of Afzal Guru lead to outbreak of massive protests in Kashmir which lead to death of several youth. The mature opinion on ground is that issues of political nature should be solved amicably in a civilized manner and mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat should be handed back to people of Kashmir .
What is ironical to note according to many sane voices is that some 430 years back Yousuf Shah Chak the last independent ruler of Kashmir was allegedly is buried in Biswak prison near Nalanda in Bihar after captured by Akbar regime in deceitful manner and according to many historians he was poisoned to death.
With the executions of Maqbool Bhat and Afzal many believe and openly state that Kashmiris have every time got a new hero and a new martyr to look after as icons, who have kept the feeling of alienation continuous.
NASIR khuehami, a journalist states -“Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat hangings have cast a painful memory on the browbeaten nation of Kashmir. The entire process surrounding these hangings has been put to great questions and thus controversy raised on overall trials. Hanging Afzal Guru out of turn was a great blow to hopes of people of Kashmir. These hangings at a larger level have also defined the injustice against nation of Kashmir. India as a democracy should leave rigidity and act as mature democracy to heal the wounds of Kashmiri people.9 and 11 February have become undoubtedly the pain evoking days for people of Kashmir.”
RAMEEZ Bhat, A scholar while talking to News Kashmir states -” The hanging of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat are a blot on the democratic credentials of India. Even keeping their mortal remains imprisoned is a matter of grave concern. Even the humane voices within India have protested the process of these hangings .Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat are without doubt being viewed as heroes among the masses .As soon as 9 February and 11 February Date arrives the bitter memories are reviewed and anger is generated. Indian State should show democratic maturity and rectify the mistake and handover the mortal remains of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat to people of Kashmir.”
Many human rights defenders have also opined more often than not that when most countries of the globe are against the implementation of the capital punishment why Indian State is carrying them out and what message it wants to give? .Many had written and answered this development that they believe that The judiciary is becoming a hand maiden of the political executive and is fast losing its independent character with the result that Justice is becoming a casualty. Whether be it the execution of Afzal Guru or Life sentences awarded to Kashmiri convicts the judiciary is being used as a tool against the political opponents and dissidents is a strong opinion held by many.
Undoubtedly, in Kashmir the pulse is that Maqbool and Afzal are hanged heroes.