The response of Democratic Students Union to Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission’s recent report, which revealed the existence of 2156 bodies in 38 mass unmarked graves in several districts of Kashmir valley. The DSU’s response says:
Oppose the fascist repression by the Indian State on the People of Kashmir! Stand in solidarity with the Azadi of Kashmir!
The 64 years of Indian occupation of Kashmir have been synonymous with death, destruction and pillage. In a glaring testimony to the gruesome brutalities of the Indian state in Kashmir, the recent report of the J&K State Human Rights Commission revealed the existence of 2156 bullet ridden bodies in 38 mass unmarked graves in the districts of Baramulla, Bandipore, Handwara and Kupwara. This excludes 574 bodies that were buried as unidentified but later identified as those of locals. All these bodies had earlier been handed over to the locals by the police for burial by classifying them as ‘unidentified militants’ killed in gunfire. However, in a vindication of what the Kashmiri people have been saying for years, the probe admits that these graves contain the dead bodies of enforced disappearances of people who were later executed in custody. Many of these bodies were defaced and some were even charred pointing towards the use of torture before their execution.
For the people of Kashmir, the state report however does not come as a surprise. A number of reports have time and again pointed to the existence of mass graves all over the valley, so much so that it had become difficult for the state to deny it anymore. The pro-azaadi leadership of Kashmir has pointed out how it is precisely to cover up such killings that the State Human Rights Commission has now come out with its own report, with figures far less than the original. Pointing to the active complicity of the Indian state in the ‘disappearances’ and the killings, they have already pointed to the meaninglessness of any state initiated probe into the matter.
The Indian state is not even making any pretence of providing justice. The puppet chief minister Omar Abdullah has categorically denied the possibility of any kind of immediate probe into the matter, knowing well that the elapse in time will make any probe later redundant as the chances of DNA extraction would reduce greatly. What he instead wants is the setting up of a ‘truth and reconciliation’ committee. The people of Kashmir and the democratic and progressive people elsewhere do not need any such spurious committees to ascertain the crimes of Indian state in Kashmir. Right from the historically denied right to self determination for the past 64 years, to the more than 80,000 killings, thousands of ‘disappearances’, the presence of 8 lakh armed personnel, fake encounters, rapes, torture chambers are facts that cannot be ‘reconciled’ with. The comprador ruling elite of Kashmir and their Indian masters, might want the people to ‘reconcile’ with their demand for azaadi, but for the people of Kashmir the political right to self determination including secession is non-negotiable. On the other hand, the absurdity of NGO-ised form of political intervention which reduces the entire question of Kashmir to mere human rights violation is such that it limits itself to demand ‘justice’ from parties actively complicit in the genocide of Kashmiris.
The history of Kashmir is not merely one of state repression, it is also one of the indomitable spirit of the Kashmiri people in their struggle for freedom. The Kashmiri people are today fighting one of the most valiant liberation struggles and all democratic people should stand in solidarity with them.