Observing August 5th

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August 5th marks the third anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and downsizing of it to two union territories. Much water has flown down the river Jehlum during these three years. Jammu and Kashmir has seen many ups and downs during this period. The positive development that is visible is the absence of, what used to be routine, protests and strikes and subsequently almost an end to everyday civilian killings and injuries. There are no more pellet victims and that has given a big relief to the people of J&K particularly those living in the Valley. However, though the massive killings and injuries have ended, the civilian still continue to fall prey to the bullets. Be is local Kashmiris, migrant labourers, people from minority communities or policemen, mostly unarmed and off-duty, are being killed and there has been no end to such acts of violence. Though the police and other security agencies seem in full control of the situation having an upper hand, random killings continue to pose a great challenge and can’t be tackled with operational capabilities only. Here, the major role is to be played by the J&K Police and that too on pure policing front. To stop such killings, proper investigation of the crime by using traditional ways coupled with modern techniques is what is needed from the police. One the killings are properly investigated, the investigations would definitely lead towards criminals and thus an end could be put to such crimes.
On political front, despite the fact that the UT administration is busy working for the overall development of J&K and has been taking several steps to better the lives of people here, a democratic government, elected freely and fairly by the people, is the only way to make the citizens realize that they are part of the existing system. Jammu and Kashmir is without an elected government from past four years and this is not justifiable under any circumstances. Why elected governments are referred to as popular governments? It is because, here people, the ordinary citizens decide who should run the affairs of their government. They repose their trust in such representatives by voting for them. They develop a connection with them and these elected people too are easily accessible to them to listen to their issues and grievances. Intension is not to belittle a bureaucratic system but the point is that had such a system been an ideal one, why should our forefathers in India chosen the democratic and parliamentary system.
It is therefore necessary that the powers, that be, wake up to the political realities of Jammu and Kashmir and move ahead to restore democratic and popular system of governance here. The delimitation commission has already submitted its report and voter lists and other relevant formalities are being efficiently done. Need is to understand the peoples’ urge to have their own representatives at the helm of affairs and respect that urge. Four years is a very long time and people can’t be denied what their own constitution promises them for any longer.

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