By Sushil Kutty
‘You left all too sudden…’ says the June 15, 2018 front-page of Rising Kashmir, the words etched on a black & white picture of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, editor-in-chief of Rising Kashmir. All too sudden was also the killing of rifleman Aurangzeb, abducted and killed while on his way to a furlough to celebrate Eid with his family.
The ‘rising’ in Rising Kashmir killed both of them. Sections of the Kashmiri take pride in describing the unrest in the Valley as an ‘uprising’ and among them are journalists. Five out of 10 Kashmiri journalists are azaadi-seekers.
The ‘fearless-tag’ was added to Bukhari’s name only after he took the ‘Track-II’ route to a Kashmir resolution. Bukhari believed in ‘azaadi’, as evidenced in his writings and tweets, and that is something the ISI didn’t like.
The widespread condemnation – from Srinagar to Delhi – of Bukhari’s killing is part heart-felt, part sham. Not hours before he was killed, Bukhari was battling allegations of “biased reporting” from some Delhi-based journalists.
Crocodile tears were shed in the Valley in the closing hours of June 14, 2018. Among the crocodiles Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Both have invested their lives in a Kashmir joining Pakistan. Shujaat Bukhari had equity in ‘azaadi’.
Bukhari may not have expected dividend such as murder. But playing games with the devil is fraught with danger. Rifleman Aurangzeb, on the other hand, was fighting the devil. A 44 Rashtriya Rifles soldier, his bullet-riddled body was found in the jungles of Pulwama. Since the start of 2018, ‘44RR’ has killed 19 terrorists, the most by any army unit in Kashmir.
Among 44RR’s high-profile kills: Hizbul ‘commanders’ Sameer Tiger and Saddam Paddar. The former foolishly challenged a 44RR company commander “to come get him” in a video posted on Social Media. Rifleman Aurangzeb was part of the 44RR team that “got him”.
The unit’s motto is ‘Aaj Contact Hoga’ and it seems Aurangzeb’s itinerary was somehow leaked and ‘Aaj Contact Hoga’ turned on him. Aurangzeb’s is an ‘army family’ – father, uncles, a brother, all of them soldiers.
The killings of rifleman Aurangzeb and journalist Shujaat Bukhari were remote-controlled. If the Hizbul are behind Aurangzeb’s killing, Shujaat’s murder seems to be the handiwork of the LeT on the orders of Pakistan’s ISI.
The slayings came on a day when the United Nations Commission on Human Rights released a one-sided report on Kashmir, declaring that scores of civilians have been killed by state actors in the Valley in the last few months and that an international investigation was in order.
The fact of the matter is the UNHCR was sent packing out of Kashmir soon after Modi took charge of India in 2014. Most of content in the report was remote collected and collated by people sitting in Delhi. Telephone calls and hearsay make the bulk of the report.
India has rejected the report as “fallacious”. Prince Zeid Ra’ad bin Zeid al-Hussein, who heads UNHCR is a Jordanian and he doesn’t see human rights violations in North Korea and China. In Russia and in his home country Jordan, where his monarch brother rules with an iron fist.
That is not to say that there are no human rights violations in Kashmir. But the whole effort seems to be another attempt to internationalise Kashmir and for the UN to butt in is indication that the United States must be complicit.
The Jordanian King is POTUS Donald Trump’s buddy and Trump is a guy in disguise. Rifleman Aurangzeb was Shaurya Chakra recipient Major Rohit Shukla’s ‘buddy’ and Aurangzeb in olive green stood out among the Kashmiri. Maj. Shukla was the officer challenged by Sameer Tiger.
The killings of Shujaat Bukhari and Rifleman Aurangzeb point to intelligence failures. JNU scholar Shehla Rashid has blamed ‘Indian agencies’ for Shujaat’s murder. So has the LeT, and the ISI. Uncannily similar conclusion. Concerted too.
LeT operative Abu Hanzula, suspected to be one of the three motorcycle-borne terrorists caught on CCTV, escaping Lal Chowk, may dispute Shehla Rashid’s unfounded claim. Rashid is a busybody, another of those “remote” sorts, who loves ‘Le Ke Rahenge Azaadi’. The J&K Police believes Hanzula is the one sandwiched between terror buddies on the motorbike.
Shujaat Bukhari’s murder added a punch to the UN report. He was a strong votary of the Ramzan Ceasefire. It’s quite clear that terror outfits do not want ceasefire. That said the ceasefire is a big mistake. It killed both journalist Shujaat Bukhari and rifleman Aurangzeb. But if Bukhari was for ceasefire, Rifleman Aurangzeb surely was not. It left him exposed.
The question now is Hamlet’s: ‘To be or not to be?’ But Hamlet was a weakling, a “tardy son”, whose companions were melancholy, alienation and paralysis. Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot afford to be Hamlet: “Thus conscience does make cowards of us all!” #NoMoreCeasefire it must be. (IPA Service)