Throats slit in Kashmir too

Sudhir Kumar was working for a firm building railway lines in Kashmir. The 28-year old engineer and his 20-year old brother were kidnapped by terrorists and later found with their throats slit.

Officials, who examined the bodies, said that the abductors had tied the hands of the two brothers with a rope backward and subsequently slit their throats, killing them mercilessly. They said that no gunshots were visible on the bodies. The act of untold brutality has immediately sent shockwaves in entire Kashmir valley, particularly the localities falling on either side of the railway track under construction. Contractors, engineers, mates, suppliers, labourers and thousands others associated with the Rs 6,000 cr railway project are shell-shocked in the Valley. They have closed down work immediately after the IRCON engineer and his brother, alongwith two others, had been lifted by gunmen in broad daylight from Earthwork Zone 28 at Gulzarpora in Awantipore area, on June 23 [Daily Excelsior]

Attacking development workers exposes terrorism for what it is. Not only was Sudhir Kumar a innocent civilian, he was working on a project that was designed to bring economic and social development to remote parts of Kashmir. The jihadi terrorists are fully aware that their time under the sun will last only so long as the common people are in darkness, so their attempts to derail every initiative that brings the light of development.

Honesty and sincerity should be the bedrock of any peace process, followed by truth and reconciliation upon its conclusion. Honesty and sincerity would demand that politicians like the Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and leaders of the Hurriyat parties condemn the slaughter for being the terrorist act that it is. But it is insincerety and shameful cowardice that runs through the reactions of the elected and self-proclaimed leaders of the Kashmiri people, who are quick to condemn the security forces on the smallest allegation, but maintain a stony silence even when the terrorists carry out the greatest atrocity.

Even the Chief Minister and his daughter blamed “enemies of peace and progress”— making it a point that there was no reference to militants in their innocuous statements of “condemnation”. Leaders of the two Hurriyat factions—Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Maulvi Abbas Ansari— besides Sajjad Gani Lone of Peoples Conference— were understandably no different. While no militant outfit had claimed the killing till late tonight, a formal reaction from guerrilla organisations is expected tomorrow [Daily Excelsior]

The choice and timing of the attack suggests that it is planned to increase the tension sorrounding the talks between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan, which will certainly carry on in spite of the provocation. But talks or no talks, no act of terrorism should go unpunished due to fear or political correctness.

Update: Terrorists kill another 12 villagers, upping the ante. When even Kuldip Nayar starts worrying about rising cross-border infiltration, it certainly is time for everyone to sit up and take notice.

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