Shocked at Gallantry Award for Major who killed our Sons- Ganopora Families

August 15

The news of the Army major being awarded a Shaurya Chakra (Gallantry Award) came as a shocker to many, however to the families of the slain Shopian youth gunned down on 27 January, it was not an ‘unexpected’ event. The Indian Army Major was the in charge of 44 Battalion of Rashtriya Rifles posted in Shopian district of South Kashmir.

On 24 January, Three militants and a teenager were killed, while two women received bullet injuries during a gunfight at Chaigund, On the cold morning of 27 January this year, The residents of Ganopora, Shopian were observing the third day of mourning against Chaigund Killings, when a patrol of the Indian Army’s 44 Rashtriya Rifles reached the village around 11 am to demand that the flag be removed.

The flag only had the Islamic kalima on it. They as per Locals removed the flag, which made the youth angry, they started throwing stones on the Army men and they left to their camp. A Local while speaking to The Kashmiriyat said that after at least an hour, they came back in around 30 vehicles, opened fire from within as their vehicles slowly moved through the village.

The walls on either sides of the main road bear testimony to the numberless gunshots that were fired. Locals from Ganopora claim that they had not seen such intensity of firing even in the gunfights. “I remember the people ran for safety, some even fell down into the swamps,” Adil Ahmed, a resident of Ganopora remembers.

When the guns finally fell down silent, Javid Ahmed Bhat and Suhail Ahmed Lone, two unarmed civilians had been shot dead and many injured, one youth aged 19 named Rayees Ahmed also succumbed to his injuries four days later.

The Jammu Kashmir Police started an investigation into the incident and registered an FIR against the head of the Army party that opened FIR against the unarmed civilians. In February, the father of Major Aditya moved to the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the FIR filed against his son. During hearing of the case, the Centre said the state government cannot lodge an FIR against serving Army personnel when the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was in force in the state.

“Earlier in the day, Modi said we have to win the hearts of Kashmiris, Is this how they win our hearts, by awarding those who have killed unarmed civilians?” a cousin of Rayees Ahmed who wished to be not named told The Kashmiriyat.

He said that awarding those accused in Crimes against common civilians shows that India is following fascist dogma and acting as a colonial state. “I appeal the United Nations to take cognizance and fulfill his responsibility in saving precious lives in Jammu Kashmir, as such incidents set precedents for others to follow the foot steps of killings and murders.

Here at the family of Suhail Javid nobody looks or seems baffled, they said the Government forces have time and again proven that their inhumanity and barbarism is patronized by the state.

Javid Ahmed Lone father of 12th Class Slain Suhail Javid lone told The Kashmiriyat that Life and dignity of every kashmiri is at stake,  Awarding erring officer who killed our children shows that officers who kill more Kashmiris are more patronized and encouraged by Indian leadership.

“Awarding an officer like Aditya is a clear message to the people that they (forces) can go to any extent without even an apprehension of accountability,” said a family member of Javaid Ahmed Bhat. “Either they have to speak the language of love or rest, Kashmiris have thrown behind the fear of their bullets and their guns,” he said.

The anger on the streets in Kashmir is palpable, and awarding a major who is seen as the man responsible for killing three young boys only fuels the anger further, a student Rashid from the area told The Kashmiriyat. He added that in Delhi, the attack on Umar Khalid (a students activist) was condemned, but everyone was busy proving that he is a nationalist, proving that he loves his nation, because the media has spoken ill of him, “Kashmiris are in abuses and curses of prime timers in Indian news, but they just do not care, they have moved beyond that,” Rashid said.

The eyes throughout the village do not look sad, but anger fills into every eye here.” This is also an open and free sanction to the Indian army to commit any atrocities against or violate any fundamental human rights of the people here without any fear of being reprimanded,” a local, Ayaz Ahmed from Balpora Shopian told The Kashmiriyat.

“This has opened an easy way for the Indian forces  to receive awards. ‘Kill a Kashmiri and get the special award.’ Furthermore, such personnel would be applauded by the ministers and bureaucrats in the administration and special ceremonies would be held in their honour,” Ayaz said.

Rashid from Ganopora Shopian feels that the Indian Media has deprived the Indian people of their natural right to the truth. “They are misleading the public of India and lying to them, Indian public should understand, we are not their enemies, we love them and want the Kashmir issue to be resolved through Love, But if they continue to applause the language of Bullets, then we are ready to face them and their bullets,” Rashid said.