|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Feb 12: Congress leaders in J&K are raising a hue and cry to identify themselves with the 3 killed stone-pelters in Shopian in their desperate attempt to create some political space for their party in Kashmir. They, like the separatists and half-separatists, want a stringent action against the army personnel who, they alleged, killed "civilians in Shopian" and support the J&K Government's stand that FIR against Major Aditya and 9 other jawans will be taken to its "logical conclusion".
Jawans had opened fire at Shopian in self-defence. Had they not done so, a violent mob of 200 to 250 stone-pelters would have lynched the jawans. The Congress, like other Kashmir-based outfits, separatist or otherwise, doesn't attach any importance to the claims made by the Army and insists on action against jawans.
However, while insisting on an action against the jawans, the Congress leaders from Kashmir refuse to look at the track record of the Congress-led UPA Government on similar cases. The Congress-led UPA Government followed the policy which earlier dispensations at the Centre followed.
For example, in 2001, one FIR filed for "killing" but permission to prosecute soldiers was denied. It happened during the Vajpyee regime. The story was no different after Manmohan Singh took over as PM. In 2005, two FIRs were filed for alleged killings in Kashmir and the Manmohan Singh government denied permission to prosecute jawans. Likewise, in 2006, 17 FIRs, one allegedly for rape, one allegedly for molestation, six allegedly for kidnapping and murder, the remaining for alleged killings, were filed. But the Manmohan Singh government denied permission to prosecute in 16 cases and the Union Government is still to grant permission for prosecution in the remaining 17th FIR against the alleged kidnapping.
The story of the 13 FIRs filed in 2007, 3 FIRs filed in 2008, 2 FIRS filed in 2009, 4 FIRs filed in 2010, 2 FIRs filed in 2011, 3 FIRs filed in 2013 and 2 FIRs filed in 2014 is no different.
And this was the period when the Congress-led UPA Government was at the helm of affairs. The Congress leaders from Kashmir would do well to first look back and then speak.