Protests, Ruling Class

J&K : Withdraw AFSPA

Kashmir is aflame again. The issue this time is Army firing at a white Maruti car in Budgam killing two of the five teenagers in it and badly injuring the other two. The Army said that the car refused to stop despite being flagged at three checkpoints. The SDM enquiry (SDM Budgam) and SSP have established that the car skidded out of control so could not stop and it finally hit a lamp post and stopped. An NDTV team reported it had seen the dented lamp post with bullet marks too. Locals state there is only one check post. The Army earlier said militants were in the car and had fired and injured two soldiers; later Rashtriya Rifles retracted and said news of militants coming was there and when the car did not stop, it was fired on. Many have commented that the firing to stop a car should be at the tyres; firing at the window screen is to kill not stop. One of the four occupants was a 14 year old teenager who was killed on the spot. The killings took place on Muharram day.

At the same spot three years earlier, the Army had fired on three soldiers ‘by mistake’ killing one. Such ‘mistakes’ by the Army in Kashmir are legion.

Kashmir shut down on 5th November, once again. Defence Miniser Arun Jaitley has recklessly, routinely uttered the palliatives of ‘case will be investigated’ and ‘justice done’. Justice will not be done. This is Kashmir. AFSPA will be invoked and the army men will go scot free.

CPI(ML)-New Democracy condemns the brutality with which Kashmiri people are made to pay for their democratic aspiration of the right to decide their destiny. They are under Army rule. Their murders and rapes of their women are “collateral damage”. It is more than time to raise a voice in the rest of India also against this crushing of democratic rights of people of Kashmir. Army should be out of civilian areas. Withdraw AFSPA. Punish the guilty army men who killed two teenagers.

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