By MASOOD KHAN, JUBAIL
If someone in Indian government thinks that keeping the human rights activists away from Kashmir will let the storm on unmarked graves die down, he must be deluding himself.
Is there something the Indian government and the army want to hide from the world? This is the only explanation for denying the human rights workers access to the valley.
This week, David Barsamian, a US-based journalist and Alternate Radio’ director, was deported from the Delhi airport. He was accused of violating visa norms during his previous visit. David has been visiting India quite regularly and has reported quite extensively on the conflict in Kashmir. Ne Aquino, a Filipino HR activist, was also sent back from the Delhi airport earlier this month. Last November, Professor Richard Shapiro, an American academic, faced the same fate; he was deported on his arrival at Delhi airport. He was accompanied by Angana Chatterji, an Indian HR activist who was the first to raise the mass graves issue in the media.
The Indian government’s nervousness is obvious from its actions which are not limited to blocking foreign HR activists. Local ones are denied entry too. David Dewdas, a local news reporter, was recently beaten up in Srinagar over a report not to the liking of the state government. Earlier, Arundhati Roy and Ram Jethmalani were banned.
It’s being claimed that at least 3,844 unmarked graves have been unearthed at 208 locations in the remote districts of Rajouri and Poonch. Regardless of the fact that these are the graves of militants sneaked into from Pakistan, or local residents killed in real or fake encounters with security forces, the truth must come to surface. It’s obvious that these graves have sent a sense of fear in the valley. It has also deepened the locals’ distrust of the rulers.