The monstrous criminality of the Chaigund hunt to kill operation in Kashmir

Chaigund encounter (Aasif Shafi) Jan 26 2018

Kashmir Life journal has an article titled “Chaigund Encounter: The Complete Story” about the Indian Army operation on Wednesday. To suggest that ‘indiscriminate firing’ by two militants was responsible for the death of a 17-year-old teenager, bullet wounds in the head to two young girls, & serious head injuries to a young boy is not so much the “complete story” as apologetics for Indian Army hunt to kill operations. According to form in these operations, the occupying army set up a cordon around a village where informants told them militants were hiding. The article claims the army ordered residents out of their homes but it’s far more likely that residents came rushing out to protest & obstruct the army from shooting up the neighborhood.

Even if the young men were militants, the Indian occupying army has no rights to usurp due process in their apprehension. Since when is it allowable under the rule of law to set out to kill rather than apprehend? How is it legal to use such a massive arsenal against two inexperienced, poorly trained, & ill-equipped young militants maybe with two rifles between them? Since when is it legal to endanger hundreds of civilians in the process of executing two militants? Where does the law allow soldiers to destroy the entire structure of homes just to kill two militants who were barely out of their teens.

Both young men were killed. But so was 17-year-old Shakir Ahmad Mir who lived nearby. Eighteen-year-old Saima Wani was shot in the brain & remains in critical condition, 20-year-old Bhat Sami were shot in the head, & 12-year-old Najar Mushaira Fayaz sustained head injuries, damage to both eyes, & internal hemorrhaging from a live shell explosion. One of the young girls was a resident of the house that was besieged & destroyed. Was she in the home when Indian soldiers started shelling it? Is that where she was killed? The other girl was a sister of one of the militants who was killed so perhaps their injuries were not so random as reported.

The two militants killed were Sameer Ahmad & Firdous Ahmad, both very recent recruits to militancy. Their funeral prayers were attended by thousands as was the funeral of Shakir Ahmad Mir. May they Rest In Peace.

This photo shows a woman looking through the damaged walls of the destroyed home. Consider what kind of arsenal was used to do such damage against two young men who maybe each had a rifle.

End the occupation. Self-determination for Kashmir.

(Photo by Aasif Shafi)