Scars that will Never Heal- The “Unidentified” Gun of Kashmir

May 21

We are flooded with questions as to who killed the Prominent Newsman, Shuj’at Bukhari, the tragic killing happened two days before Eid, when Shuja’at was preparing for Iftaari.

Near his office in Srinagar’s Press Colony, Shuja’at was shot at with a volley of bullets by the Kashmir’s ugly, ‘Unidentified Gunmen.

On 21st May, 1990 three gunmen entered inside the bedroom of the Mirwaiz e Kashmir, Moulvi Mohammed Farooq who had refused security, and shot him dead. Mirwaiz had reportedly sustained 15 bullet injuries all over his body.

People say there were immediate provocations to the murder, including Mirwaiz meeting an Indian Minister or condemning the kidnapping of Rubiya Sayed as ‘Unislamic.’ But the immediate truth is, you can call them excuses, not reasons, the only reason behind his killing was his popularity among people.

Mirwaiz was the head preacher to 5 lakh Srinagar people, Soon after, the blame was put on the ‘unidentified gun.’ As Ahmed Ali Fayyaz, a senior Journalist told a news agency, “Kashmir is a small place. Here it doesn’t take much to learn who has killed who.” Years post this, Abdul Ghani Lone, a Controversial, but another hugely influential leader from North was shot dead in Eid Gah of Srinagar.

The Separatists blamed the Indian Agencies and the Police blamed pro Pakistan Gunmen.There are no easy answers as the truth remains a closely guarded secret and no one wants to disclose the reality. The unidentified gun has returned to Kashmir, dozens of civilian have been killed this year, but earlier sympathizers of Gilani faction of Hurriyat, Religious Clerics, Political leaders, JKLF Activists, Media men, Jamaat-e-Islami members, former militants, political activists, became the victim of unidentified gunmen’.

There are thousands of civilian killings which no one has claimed in the last 28 years.Professor Bhat , a hurriyat stalwart once said, “Wherever we found an intellectual, we ended up killing him. Let us ask ourselves: Was Prof Wani a martyr of brilliance or a martyr of rivalry?” He categorically stated that “Lone sahib, Mirwaiz Farooq and Prof. Wani were not killed by the army or the police.

They were targeted by our own people. The story is a long one, but we have to tell the truth.”In Sopore of 2015, five people fell to the bullets of unidentified gunmen. The, then DIG of North Kashmir straightaway said that the killings were the handiwork of Lashkar-e-Islam which, according to him, is a breakaway group of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

On the other side, both Hurriyat factions, United Jihad Council and the Lashkar-e-Taiba, dissociated from the outfit, said in unison that the group was floated by Indian agencies. And in response to this statement Lashkar-e-Islam issued a press statement asking Gilani to probe the role of his members in killing of 5 Militants, People are yet to be told who killed whom. But the founders of the group, who were once called Indian Spies, were both shot down in separate encounters, Muzz Moulvi in Srinagar and Quyoom Najar on LoC near Uri.

A Cable operator was killed the last year in South Kashmir’s Shopian, and the blame came straight on Zubair Turray, one of the local militants, a few years back, a Sarpanch was killed in Nazneenpora Shopian, Waseem Mallah was blamed, but he personally visited the house and took oath on the Qur’an that neither he and nor any militant Organization killed the Sarpanch. Ashraf-ul-Islam, a Jamaat e Islami preacher was killed in 1995 by unidentified gunmen, later it was told that government militia or Ikhwanis.

A Larger Question that arises is, are these killing really probed or we rush into the blame game? Have the probes reached any results; if yes, then the state should shame the culprits by publicly announcing their names. Common people like me are told that Ikhwan has returned, backed by the state they kill people, tomorrow I might be killed too, “unidentified gun.” How Many connotations does Ikhwan too have?

The Killings have never been claimed by any Militant group ever, there are some people who blame Moulvi Farooq for ‘Double Farooq’ accord, nowadays they do not, because of JRL factor, they also blame Abdul Gani lone for being a double agent, but history speaks and it is not the version of any organization or any group. History is what has happened and it is a factual representation of the same.

I remember a famous celebrated commander of early 90s, who came and was renowned for his pro Pakistan stance, for his bravery, he later turned out to be a worker of Indian Agencies, given safe passage after burning down the shrine of Charar e Shareef, he nowadays working for TTP, Bombing Pakistani civilians and mosques, when he returned a great Pakistani leader, called him ‘Ghazi of Kashmir’ after giving him a hero’s welcome after crossing over, his role in the killing of civilians is known by one and all.Dr. Qazi Nisar was called to a meeting to sort out the differences and play a catalyst between two Militant groups, he did and on the way back, he was shot dead by ‘Unidentified Gunmen’ near Dialgam, outskirts of Islamabad town. Nobody claimed the killing, but the public reactions often give a clue about which side was responsible for the killing.

Such killings are on the rise yet again. People who are truthful are living in fear. Nobody knows when, how and where he/she will be killed. An assassin is lurking in shadows everywhere. He likely is a Kashmiri, a hired gun on the pay roll of some mysterious organizations.

Turn the pages of History, both the sides have their concrete theories and stories to the Killings by unidentified Gunmen, history has never proven, who killed whom but one thing is dire, that, Kashmiris must be set free from him.