Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Final Judgement!

It is not for the first time that the ultimate justice has eluded Kashmiris. It has happened many times before and will continue to happen in future also. All were looking forward to the verdict of the Supreme Court in regard to the ultimate prosecution of the established murderers of innocent Kashmiris. Going purely by the rule of law, the judgement is definitely in order. However, keeping in view the entire history of the case and the strong pleas advanced by the country’s most prestigious investigating agency, it was expected that the justice will not only be done but will clearly appear to have been done. One would not like to debate the point of law. The honourable judges are best suited to deliver their opinion which may strictly be in keeping with the laws. Sometime back the plea of the “collective conscience of the society” was taken in confirming death sentence of an alleged terrorist even though he had challenged the veracity of the trial. If that judgement had to be in keeping with the “collective conscience” of the society, then this one too had to appear to satisfy the same “collective conscience”! Justice cannot be divided. Not only in Kashmir but in many other places including the concerned global rights fora, the judgement has been received with dismay. The only silver lining has been the time limit given to the defence authorities to ensure prosecution of the alleged killers under Court Martial or a Criminal Court. One hopes that this time restriction will be adhered to and taken into account subsequently. It is said that Justice delayed is justice denied! Unfortunately, Kashmiris have had a bitter experience with various institutions held to be of repute in the country. They lost faith in the election commission because of 1987 rigging which is taken to be the real trigger of militancy in Kashmir. No doubt the unrest was exploited by our neighbours but initially the cause came from this side. They lost faith in security forces due to their role not only in humiliating civilians but using excessive force against them during the militancy. And to top it off, the security forces have refused to thin out and even to relinquish their draconian powers. They lost faith in the premier investigating agency due to the alleged cover up of the rape and murder of two women in Shopian. This faith had got somehow restored by the role of the agency in unearthing and taking for prosecution the alleged killers of Pathribal. Now all hopes were on the supreme judicial body. In spite of all misgivings and because of the very strong pleas made by the premier investigating agency, the people expected something substantial. However, the judgement though strictly in keeping with the provisions of the law has somehow disappointed the people. It is but natural for a people feeling let down from all sides to still harbour hope that they will finally be vindicated and it is doubly tragic and depressive if this fails to happen. The people turn fatalistic and leave the ultimate judgement to destiny. Kashmiris have been waiting for this judgement for centuries and in reality never get depressed and disappointed because there is a general feeling that their cause is just and fair and they will definitely receive the final judgement from the Highest Celestial Court above all the terrestrial judicial bodies! This hope sustains them and gives them the strength to go on!

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