In yet another incidence where Kashmiris have been let down by Indian judicial system Supreme court has put a stay on the FIR filed against major Aditya Kumar of 10 Garhwal rifles in connection with the death of three civilians in an army firing in shopian last month, a bench headed by Dipak Misra issued notice to the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government to file their response within two weeks in this regard, the bench also ordered that no coercive action should be taken against the army personnel.
The FIR was earlier registered by the police against the 10 Garhwal rifles under sec 302 and 307 of Ranbir penal code and Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had said on the floor of the house that the investigation shall be taken to its logical end and justice shall be delivered. With this development Kashmiris have once again seen the ugly side of the Indian judicial system and this exposes yet another hollow promise of an inquiry against the army, Be it the Kupwara massacre, the Handwara massacre, kunan poshpora mass rape case, the machil fake encounter that subsequently led to the 2010 unrest, Indian judiciary has miserably failed to give any justice to the Kashmiris.
Even in the cases of Execution of Mohammed Maqbool Bhat or Mohammad Afzal Guru Indian judiciary has let the Kashmiris down and taken the nationalist line with utter disregard to the merits of the case, recently the infamous major Gogoi who was found to be at fault was awarded for tying an innocent person on the bonnet of his jeep with no regard to the directions of the SHRC. This time around an elected Chief minister which has the support of the ruling BJP in the Centre which happens to be the custodian of nationalism had promised the inquiry to be taken to its logical end but the ‘logical end’ seems to hold the same tried and tested meaning for Kashmiris.
The stay order in this particular case is not significant as it will not remove or quash the FIR filed against the army but the message is loud and clear that judiciary will not be any different when it comes to dealing with the Kashmir or Kashmiris. Interestingly questions have already been raised by some senior SC judges against the integrity and intention of the chief justice Dipak Mishra who also heard the plea filed in the Supreme court by the father of major Aditya. Had the inquiry been completed in this case this would have done some good to the Indian army because after the killing of so many innocent people in the valley and the case of major Gogoi Indian army has come under a lot of criticism and many people believed that Indian army is losing its prestige and neutrality.
The army chief Bipin Rawat has more often than not been issuing political statements much to the benefit of the ruling dispensation in the center.if the government of J&K happens to lose this case and the FIR is caushed against the army it would be a big jolt to the ruling PDP because no less than CM has promised action in this case.on the other hand it would be much to the benefit of the ruling BJP who has been enjoying its rule using the ‘sena card’.Many bjp spokespersons come on the TV channels especially its mouthpiece ‘Republic TV’, Timesnow and zee tv to play the sena card, they have been successfully using the army to emotionalize the Indian people only to Surrender their support to them.
Despite all this The case against major Aditya Kumar of 10 Garhwal rifles stands very much alive, the FIR has merely been stayed and not quashed as of yet, it would mean that no action would be taken against the army in the coming two weeks. The Supreme Court would hear the responses of the Centre and the state after two weeks for the further action. The signals are however not very healthy and as stated earlier Indian judiciary has not been very famous for giving justice to the people of J&K,let’s see which way the wind blows.
Rayees Masroor is a scholar and a political columnist from Jammu and Kashmir. He can be reached at Rayeesmasroor111@gmail.com