Let justice be done
In a first, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Thursday walked almost half-a kilometer to reach Tarkassi village in Rajouri district where he met family members of three youth killed in alleged fake encounter on July 18 in Amshipora, Shopian and assured the parents of slain youth that justice will be delivered at any cost. Earlier, addressing local population at Peeri on the sidelines of the ongoing Back to Village program, Lt. Governor observed that main objective of his visit to the remote village was to assure the people that Constitution of India is supreme; Government is with the people, and justice and equality shall be ensured by the government. Expressing condolences with the families, the Lt Governor said that the UT Government will extend full support to them and assured that justice would be ensured in the case. The move made by the Lt Governor is appreciable. By visiting the victim families, he has tried to convey the seriousness of his administration in dealing with the issuer and has kindled hope that at least this case is taken to the logical conclusion by delivering justice to the victims, their families and punishing the culprits.
This fake encounter case is a litmus test for the Lt. Governor’s administration. As he himself has said that Constitution of India is supreme, it is the same constitution that guarantees right to life, justice and equality. The three Rajouri youth, who were killed branding them as ‘terrorists’, have been snatched off their right to life. The family members of the slain youth Imtiyaz Ahmed, 26; Abrar Ahmed, 20; and Ibrar Ahmed, 16 are demanding justice and the their demand is well within their constitutional rights.
Jammu and Kashmir’s recent history is replete with incidents where culprits involved in most heinous crimes have remained untouched by the axe of law and where hapless victims have never been allowed to have a glimpse of justice. In this backdrop, the Lt Governor’s administration is face to face with a big challenge. The incumbent Lt Governor has been making right noises and connecting with the people. This unfortunate fake encounter has provided him a chance to prove to the masses that the governments, from Srinagar to New Delhi, care for every human being residing in the Union Territory.
In this backdrop the administration should ensure a speedy probe into the fake encounter, fix responsibility and book to culprits, no matter who they are and what ranks a positions they hold, under the law of the land. This will not only serve the basic purpose of justice but will also enhance the peoples’ confidence. There atmosphere of mistrust, that has plagued the relations between the masses and the system, need to be changed and for that administration has to take steps to restore peoples’ faith in the system and its different organs. People here have seen probes being orders, tall claims being made but at the end of the day neither the culprits get the punishments nor the victims the justice. This culture has eroded peoples’ faith in the system and they take all the promises of fairplay with a pinch of salt. That is the challenge the Lt Governor administration is face to face with and if the present dispensation means what it says, things will undoubtedly take a positive turn. A fair probe into the Shopian encounter and punishment to the culprits will go a long way in re-building peoples’ confidence in the system. However, the administration should speed up the probe because justice delayed is justice denied.