Probe not Rs 5 lakh

Published at October 24, 2018 01:58 AM 0Comment(s)4458views


Probe not Rs 5 lakh

Union Minister Rajnath Singh on his daylong visit to Kashmir Tuesday announced that Rs 5 lakh will be given to the kin of those civilians killed in the Kulgam explosion of October 21. Seven civilians were killed in the explosion at the Kulgam encounter site soon after the government forces had evacuated. Rajnath reiterated what the top brass of police and armed forces have been saying in the last couple of years – not to be near the encounter sites. What is unfortunate is that seven civilians died and there is no one to be blamed but people. And to add insult to injury, instead of ordering a probe into the incident, the central government announces monetary relief. The entire incident needs to be replayed to place the blame and fix the responsibility. There is an encounter and three militants get killed. Then government forces leave the site without any further activity at the spot. Meanwhile people mostly youth gather near the house where encounter took place and after forces leave many of them move into the house, which as per the security protocol or Standard Operating Procedure should have been cleared, particularly by the Bomb Disposal Squad. Nothing has been said about that. And once people are inside an explosion takes place in which seven people get killed. Even if the police and armed forces advisories are taken into account in addition to the appeals made by political leaders, does it absolve the forces from not doing their job that resulted in the death of the civilians? Why didn’t Rajnath or an armed forces official call for a probe? Apparently, the forces did not want to own the blame and shifted it to the victims, maintaining that they should not have visited the site. The argument is weak and indefensible – that day or the day after or week after someone would have visited the premises and gone into the house, may be to clear the debris. And the same thing would have happened, that fate was sealed as soon as forces left without sanitizing the area. If the forces refused to admit their fault, Rajnath did no better on his Kashmir visit but toe the line. Instead of ordering a probe, which as Union Home Minister he is obliged to do, he announces Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the victims. This is unacceptable and miscarriage of justice.

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