Life and Death in Kashmir

Businesses and schools in Indian-administered Kashmir were shut down as crowds went on strike to protest killings by police that were allegedly justified in faked gun-battles, according to the BBC.

The police officers involved said those killed were seperatist militants, but it appears now that the officers simply had itchy trigger fingers – The New York Times reports on the recent exhumation of one of the bodies:

As it turned out, the dead man, Abdul Rehman Paddar, was not a Pakistani at all, nor a militant. He was a Kashmiri carpenter from a village south of here. The Indian police are now investigating whether he was killed by some of their own men, for motives that could range from personal revenge to greed. A suspected militant’s body, after all, comes with a handsome cash reward. [full story]

BBC has the number of exhumed bodies at four, while NYTimes counts five.

But even if the officers are found to be guilty, Reuters reports, prosecution could be difficult because of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA):

That law, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA, gives soldiers virtual immunity from prosecution, and has taken centre stage as the state of 2.6 million people begins voting this week in a three-stage poll to elect a new legislature.

Most parties seem to agree that the law, which only applies to parts of India’s northeast and to Kashmir in the northwest, should either be repealed or drastically changed.

3 Responses to “Life and Death in Kashmir”

  1. 1 Avi February 7, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    the BBC and Reuters do not have a good track record of honest, accurate, or balanced reporting. My take is that this could be another attempt to “create” the big story by stretching the details of a sadly gone-wrong event. I wonder what people are saying in Kashmir… as opposed to England or US?

  2. 2 dailytransit February 7, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    They don’t? I know that wire services often operate on the fly (and thus don’t give as much time to fact-checking as they should), but I’ve never heard too many criticisms of the BBC. What makes you say that?

    Also, beyond BBC and Reuters, NYT picked this up, too – seems like a pretty legitimate situation.

  1. 1 Injustice review « The Daily Transit Trackback on February 28, 2007 at 11:37 pm
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