Do we need anniversaries to remind us of something that we cannot forget?

One such memory is gang rape (Oh! was that really a gang rape) of two women in Shopian, on 29 May 2009. The gang rape was later on passed as drowning incident by the state. The sense of democracy says they were drowned in ankle- deep water!

Their loved ones were looking for them.

Asiya NeelofarOf course, democracy is a charade in a conflict zone. Its skull is hollowed out and stuffed with oppression, injustice, lies, misinformation, and propaganda. It behaves like a schizophrenic. The inside of his head is lunatic asylum and its room’s cupboard is full of skeletons.

Just kick they will come tumbling down.

Reports and journals about Shopian rape, treatment with protestors, with the crime itself, dismayed and startled me. The light of state truths was darkening everything that came its way. As I read them it was like as if someone knocked, walked in my blurry room and opened windows.

The Shopian rape and murder case is one such. There is nothing new in it. There is a baggage of such incidents due to armed conflict and nobody got punished. (And no one will ever be because there are laws that protect perpetrators and this immunity leads to impunity.)Yet the amount of viciousness, hush –up and crisis management that played a part, in this case, was appalling. The women were raped and then murdered and then stories were fabricated to smoke up mirrors and leave people groping around.

The system exonerated the perpetrators through its various machinations and ultimately boiling it down to a mere drowning incident, the theory used by state apparatus from the day incident occurred while apparently there were marks of sexual assault. The autopsy reports revealed rape but when system kicked in, everything turned upside down. And shrouding it in mystery by obscuring truth and shoddy investigations and using state terror.

The state terror that is global in nature!

Ratn Sanjay, who led the Central Bureau of Investigation’s inquiry into the deaths, said that when his team began its work in September at the request of the state government, the assumption was that the women had been raped and murdered. But that eroded rapidly as investigators discovered discrepancies between several autopsy reports prepared the day the women’s bodies were found, including mislabeled tissue.

“It now seems that whole charade of the investigation by multiple agencies, one after the other, was aimed at shielding the culprits rather than bringing them to book,” said Mehbooba Mufti, the president of the opposition People’s Democratic Party. She described as “cruel irony” the move to file charges against “the family, the witnesses, lawyers and those who have wanted justice to be done.

The New York Times- DEC. 14, 2009

The role of opposition party PDP at that time was what could be called as activism. Its president at that time who is now current CM went all out its way blurring line between separatists and herself. To check up on her sincerity she was asked to join a pro-freedom camp. She didn’t. From her demonstrations, holding placards asking for justice and troops reduction, her visit to victims to express sympathy and being taken into ‘preventive custody ‘I wondered where all this faded when she assumed power?

Does power have ‘DID’ with it? (Dissociative Identity Disorder)

Coming back to horrible, dreadful night of 2009.

Between 7: 30 to 8: 15.

Reports suggest that shouts were emanating from the jeep that was placed on the bridge.

But still, their loved ones were looking for them. The news hadn’t created ripples of unrest, which snowballed into the tempest.

I fail to understand why police hush-up and shoddy investigations took place, why when system kicked in, the truth got lost in a labyrinth of procedures and ultimately boiled down to a mystery?

The studies from the reports like Independent Women’s Initiative for Justice; Shopian: Manufacturing a Suitable Story A Case Watch, Shopian, institutional denial for justice, International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir(IPTK.) contradicted state narrative.

As the revelations from these reports reveal that the Shopian rapes and murders epitomize the wrongs and injustices perpetrated on the people living in a militarized society. The incident not only manifests the extent of fear psychosis, denial of security and democratic rights to the people, it also validates the abject refusal of those at the helm of affairs to bring the culprits of gross violation of human rights to book.

Shopian is not a case in isolation. It is a leaf out of the history of human rights abuse and absolute impunity that men in uniform enjoy. The latter have been accused of thousands of cases of torture, humiliation, encounters, disappearances, molestations, sexual assaults and other forms of harassment.

Dr. Manmohan Singh, the then Prime Minister assured of Justice perhaps he himself was a toothless tiger. And even the then Home Minister: Chidambaram.

From censoring state broadcast media, police handling, expert’s unsophistication cover-up, obliterating probes, to police coercion of witness the state did everything in its capacity to impose “ normalcy” and pass it on as a mere drowning case.

Two people had reported that they had heard shrieks emanating from security vehicle and Dr. Shaheens statement that rape had happened as well as murder as multiple spermatozoa were found on victim’s body. But within a month the doctor was suspended and even she changed her statement “confessing” her “negligence”.

Even there were attempts of character assassinations of victims to which local media tackled brilliantly. The state’s propaganda machine and psyops were in full swing.

So what did CBI later came up with?

Two young Kashmiri women whose deaths ignited violent protests in this disputed province over the summer were not raped or murdered but drowned in a mountain stream, India’s top investigative agency said Monday, in the latest and perhaps most stunning turn in a deeply contentious case.

A 66-page report on the case by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation was presented which said that forensic evidence collected from the women’s bodies indicated that they had died accidentally and that there was no evidence that either had been raped.

The new report accuses doctors, lawyers, and witnesses of falsifying information given to the police in the initial investigation, raising the troubling possibility that the rape and murder allegations were concocted as part of an elaborate hoax intended to embarrass India’s security forces, whose presence here is often likened to an occupation.

There is a history of such cases.

And can we forget Kunanposhpora?

So what do we have now? Any answers for Suzzaine who was two years old in 2009 when his mother and Aunt were raped and murdered? At that time he was too young to understand?

Any answer for him if he asks for justice?

As an answer –a state may have Bullet or Pellets. But what about those who claim to represent oppressed people?

Neelofar’s son

It is not just that two women were buried, exhumed and buried again; justice itself is well and truly buried in bloating graves all across the state. There is selective short-lived outrage.

Periodical upsurges, occasional timetables from separatists, weekend and annual marches are not enough.

Is there any roadmap, or any brilliant idea of political civil disobedience with real consequence for Indian empire? Perhaps they have bouts of reunion and then splitting again. Their credibility is in crisis. The people too are full of dichotomies.

There is shut down and dissent because pro-freedom leaders called for so, but what after when, shrieks, sobs absorb themselves in the commotion of, “normalcy”.

And let’s not forget Asiya and Nelofar had screamed loudly ‘ BHAYOO….BHAYOO…Brother…. brother…

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