ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Co-option, Collaboration, Conflict

Three Years of PDP–BJP

The Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir has been marred by doublespeak and U-turns vis-à-vis its poll/alliance mandate, gross human rights violations, and extended (cyber) curfews in the Valley. With Kashmiri youth turning to insurgency in a big way, rising mass protests, and repeated cancellation of local elections, the government and indeed democracy itself face a legitimacy crisis.

On 28 January 2018, the Garhwal Rifles of the Indian Army killed three civilians in Ganawpora village of Shopian district, when they were mourning the killings of two insurgents and another civilian earlier that week (Fareed 2018). The army version claims that they came under heavy stone pelting by protesting youth and fired in self-defence. The facts are being ascertained through a magisterial enquiry, farcical in a place like Kashmir owing to the fate of all such enquiries against the Indian Army thus far (Farasat 2014). In this case, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against the army unit, naming the major as well (Pandit 2018). The Indian media, uncritically standing by the Indian military, took no time in castigating the state government for the FIR which could affect the morale of the soldiers (Vohra 2018).

The furore over the police report, however, is questionable given the poor track record of the state, which frequently raises the probe bogey but fails to indict the forces personnel. In rare cases where it did, the perpetrators have never been prosecuted. This was recently established by the Union Minister for Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman, while replying to a question in Parliament, where she stated that the union government had between 2011 and 2016 received 50 cases under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA) from the Government of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for sanction to prosecute army personnel which have been denied for lack of sufficient evidence (Jaleel 2018).

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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