Skip to main content

Senior Kashmir RTI activist, known liberal, threatened; top journo warns, state susceptible to anger from within

By Our Representative
In a development which might further push the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) situation towards the brink, liberal sections of the state, torn apart because of unprecedented violence, have begun to feel threatened. The most recent example cited in this context is of a person considered as the state’s first Right to Information (RTI) activist being “harassed and threatened.”
Bringing this to light, chairman, J&K Right to Information (RTI) Movement Shaikh Ghulam Rasool has said that advocate Irfan Hafiz Lone, legal advisor of his organization, has received threats “from numerous communal people in one day.” Lone is known to be critical of Kashmiri separatists, and is said to hold Gandhian views.
According to Dr Rasool, “The inclusive anti-Kashmir wave has spread so large that every person of Kashmir is threatened one way or the other with in state or outside state. In similar vein, three days ago on April, 19, 2017 around 3:00 pm two persons approached Lone outside district Court Baramulla and threatened him not to raise the human rights violation issue in TV debates.”
While replied that he was “impartial in condemning the violations, be it from any side”, says Dr Rasool, “On the same day he was done debating at Times Now around 8.52 pm, he receives a call from the phone number (+91) 9819743514 abusing him and all Kashmiris predominantly for raising human rights violations in public domain.”
On the same day Lone informed telephonically at Kothi Bagh Police station Srinagar about the threatening call, and on next morning on April 20, he filed FIR in writing with Police station Kothi Bagh as well as in SHO Baramulla. “Three days have passed since then while no action has been taken against the perpetrator”, complains Dr Rasool.
Last year, Lone shot into prominent for a reply to his RTI plea, which said that the Archives of India’s records suggest, the founder of National Conference, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, was not the signatory of ‘Instrument of Accession’ of Kashmir.
Threat to Lone comes amidst one of India’s best-known journalists, Shekhar Gupta, observing in his blog that while earlier – soon after Independence and in 1965 – India “nearly lost” due to military intervention from Pakistan, and was saved by the India’s strong retaliation, the situation has reached as a point that today that thought there is “almost no military threat, we have worked ourselves up into seeing our own people as a ‘military’ threat.”
Shekhar Gupta
According to Gupta, arguably, “Kashmir is territorially secure”, yet the fact is, “We are fast losing it emotionally and psychologically”, wondering, “Do we care?”
Pointing out that 1965 “was the last time India could conceivably have lost Kashmir militarily”, Gupta says, at that time, “even in our folklore, Kashmiris were seen as broadly nationalist and trustworthy – the 1965 infiltrators were spurned by local people.”
However, how, 52 years later, he underlines, “for months, Kashmiris have come out in thousands, shedding their fear of lathis, bullets and pellets. As weeks pass, they will also likely shed their hesitation of ‘sacrificing’ fellow Kashmiris if used as human shields.”
“Only 7 per cent voted in a recent Srinagar by-election. You don’t need more evidence that while your grip on the land is firm, you are losing its people”, he says.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.