On the 48th day of the Omar Abdullah government on February 21, soldiers shot dead two civilians in Bomai, Sopore in north Kashmir. And now a pattern seems to be emerging after every alleged killing in any corner of the Valley.
After the Bomai killing, the Valley was traumatised by the rape and murder of two young women in Shopian, 50 km south of Srinagar, on May 30.
After this, on June 28-29, there was an alleged molestation in the north Kashmir town of Baramulla. Following this was the disappearance and murder of a Srinagar youth. On Wednesday night, an alleged attempt was made to rape a teenager. She died of shock. All these events have stoked public anger.
And each and every case was followed by street protests and stone-pelting at the police and security forces.
Said the chief minister, “There is a pattern. Passions are sought to be aroused and there are political elements trying to cash in on it,” he told HT on phone on Thursday.
“There is an attempt by some political elements to capture political space by doing all this,” he added. In Thursday’s case, the FIR has been registered, a suspect arrested and the postmortem conducted. “Where has the government been at fault?” he asked.
People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti led party workers to Shopian and held demonstrations. But she was prevented from marching to Baramulla. She sees in these protests a disconnect between the people and the government. “The people don’t trust the government,” she told HT.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq believes events of this kind would evoke similar responses anywhere. “The government should understand the public mood and stop such incidents from taking place,” he said.