Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2009 > June 2009 > Shopian Killings Don’t Stir Us!

Mainstream, Vol. XLVII, No 27, June 20, 2009

Shopian Killings Don’t Stir Us!

Monday 22 June 2009, by Humra Quraishi

Ironies hit. On one hand you have women on top slots. President Pratibha Patil, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Women and Child Welfare Minister Krishna Tirath…the list is long. But just about pause here. And see what can happen to the ordinary woman of this land. She could be raped, murdered, tossed and flung about, and yet unaffected we’d sit.

No, we are not crying hoarse even as details are trickling in that the two Kashmiri women of Shopian were indeed raped and murdered, allegedly by the security forces. Three murders took place (yes, three were murdered, because don’t overlook the fact that one of the two women was carrying a baby in her womb) and we, in New Delhi, sit rather tightlipped.

We could be going hysterical about which clauses ought to get included or stand excluded from the Women’s Bill, but, no, these rapes and murders don’t get us worked up. Why don’t women and men in the entire stretch of this country react to these recent killings of the Shopian women?

Let the government set up its own commission to look into that barbaric incident. But that should not stop apolitical groups from sending their members to unearth not just the very sequence of events but also the very culprits … Let a people’s commission also probe and table its report.

This people’s commission should have activists-lawyers-academics from the Valley. They could be joined in by those who are residing in other parts of the country, like Justice Rajinder Sachar, Uma Chakravarti, Kuldip Nayar, Ram Puniyani, Harsh Mander, Farah Naqvi, Rooprekha Verma, Vasanth Kannabiran, Shabnam Hashmi, Teesta Setalvad. People’s commissions do help in clearing out the haze and bringing forth realities.

In fact, over two years back (soon after the series of bomb blasts in Hyderabad) when there was an uproar that innocent Muslim boys were getting detained and arrested in Hyderabad, a three-member commission was set up and its report highlighted the fact that innocents were not just detained but even tortured and subjected to the most humiliating forms of police torture. And as far as I can recollect, the three members of this commission were from the two well-known NGOs of Hyderabad—COVA and Apna Watan.

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