Fixing the responsibility

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Death of Arshid Ahmad Dar, a 23-year old from village Chanabal of Pattan, who was injured in police action a few days back while he was part of a protest demonstration held against the rape of a minor girl child in Sumbal, succumbed to his injuries late Wednesday evening. The death has once again raised a serious question regarding the ability of the police to handle civilian protests and manage the angry crowds. The procession, deceased Dar was part of which, wasn’t in anyway anti-national or pro separatist. Civilian populace had taken to streets to register its anger and pain against the heinous crime committed against a young gill child. Appreciating the genuineness of the protests, the police should have exhibited maximum restraint but it never happened resulting into the death of a budding young man. It is high time that responsibilities are fixed and police leadership is taken to task as to ensure that no further lives are lost due to police negligence.

That said, protesting for any genuine cause or concern is ok, but then one needs to draw a line somewhere about the nature of such protests. For instance, taking to streets too can be a justified action but only as long as it does not violate other persons’ safety and liberties. However, it is unfortunate that more than anything else, it is sheer hooliganism that has become the characteristic feature of most of the protest demonstrations that are held in the Valley every now and then.

For instance, how can anyone justify protestors blocking the roads leading to hospitals? Irrespective of the importance of the issue that is being agitated for or against, the protestors, at least, need to show some respect to the emergency needs of people who have to reach the hospitals but instead ambulances are being targeted.

General public as well as the political leaders share the blame of unconcern in this regard. The general public have, over the years, perfected the art of silence, they prefer to be mute spectators to every fair and foul action, hardly ever bothering to utter a word even against the worst of traits that are settling into being a permanent feature of our collective behavior. As for the politicians, they are ever involved in a rat-race in taking lead in provoking youth to come on to the streets for protests. Blinded by their narrow political interests and obsessed with showing their writ on the street sentiment, these people never hesitate in giving strike and shutdown calls. And as if this was not enough, they use every cruel tactic in provoking violence on the streets. Provoking mob fury is easy, what is really difficult is channelizing this rage into something constructive and productive. But this seems to have never been in their priority list.

In such a situation, wherein everyone is out there to exploit the sentiments of the youth for their own vested interests, it is for the young people to realize how and why they are being used. A river is a river, full of life and promise only as along as it respects its banks and remains within their ambit. It become a flood and causes death and destruction the moment it overflows it legitimate limits.

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