Early morning on Saturday, 15th December, supporters of terrorists clashed with security forces after an encounter and in retaliatory action, ‘civilians’ were killed. According to Kashmir Police, “While the operation was going on, a crowd who came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site got injured.” This encounter also killed 3 terrorists including one Abdul Majid Thoker who had deserted the Army last year to join the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.
Former DGP of Kashmir, Shesh Paul Vaid tweeted his anguish at the lost lives.
Anguished at the loss of lives of civilians in an encounter in Pulwama. Continued instigation by terrorists and their masters across, for the civilians to reach the encounter site and disrupt the operation by stone pelting leads to loss of precious lives. Terrible.
— Shesh Paul Vaid (@spvaid) December 15, 2018
He explained that ‘civilians’ are constantly instigated by terrorists and their masters across the border in Pakistan to reach such encounter sites and disrupt the operations by pelting stones. Such people then, unfortunately, get caught in the crossfire and precious lives are lost.
The deaths of those killed get tremendous media sympathy, with the narrative being the retaliatory firing being ‘mindless killing’.
You know New Delhi’s (non existent) Kashmir policy is failing when the number of civilians killed is double the number of combatants killed. This mindless killing is in nobody’s interest. The state in Kashmir is fast becoming indistinguishable from non state actors. https://t.co/0oJ45aapOs
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) December 15, 2018
Sympathy for those ‘civilians’ killed flowed from all quarters for them.
Horrific news coming out of Kashmir. 7 civilians killed during encounter in Pulwama, more critically injured. What a tragic, tragic day
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) December 15, 2018
Including from across the border.
Seven unarmed protesters massacred in J&K.
When will this end? Why is no one paying attention? Because India is a huge power? Why is there no accountability?
— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) December 16, 2018
So did anger for the security forces.
Three cheers for the Indian army which has now started killing civilians in Kashmir, like Gen Dyer at Jalianwala bagh or Lt Calley at My Lai in Vietnam
All Indian army officers and soldiers should be given Bharat Ratna.
— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) December 16, 2018
From today onwards for three days mourning and complete protest strike will be observed all across
— Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (@MirwaizKashmir) December 15, 2018
The ‘other’ mob
Barely fifteen days back, a stray bullet from a Policeman’s gun killed a 17-year-old boy in Chingrawati village of Bulandshahr district in Uttar Pradesh. The boy, Sumit’s parents were inconsolable as they recounted how their young son had just gone to the bus stop to drop off his friend and was at a wrong place at a wrong time when the bullet from Inspector Subodh Singh’s pistol killed him. Inspector Singh was later killed in mob violence, the investigation of which is being carried out by an SIT.
As soon as the news broke of the incident, the sympathies were with the police officer here and 17-year-old Sumit was painted as a violent 20-something stone-pelter who had political affiliations. Almost as if justifying his killing by Inspector Singh’s bullet. Inspector Singh was the only ‘victim’ for whom the hearts bled.
When are we in the media going to stop the Cowardice about Cow Terrorism & Yogi Adityanath- and quit talking in diplomatic, far -too-kind gloss? Will the murder of #SubodhKumarSingh lead to some long overdue plain speak? I am back with #NewsKaJuice https://t.co/hq4cufKJk8
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) December 5, 2018
Law and order? Peaceful protestors? Shooting a cop at point blank range: no fear of the law? Bulandshahar is another flashpoint in UP.. https://t.co/G7LQepci82
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) December 4, 2018
If a mob gathers in Uttar Pradesh, it absolutely cannot be a peaceful protest because a policeman (who first ‘accidentally shot’ an innocent civilian) got killed. But if a mob gathers in Kashmir, tries to disrupt encounter proceedings against terrorists, pelts stones at the security forces, and if retaliatory firing kills them, it is excessive use of force by the security forces.
Bulandshahr incident, just like the various incidents in Kashmir is not a stray incident. Horror stories of mob violence from Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh keep appearing even in mainstream media, but hardly any of these ‘mobs’ get any sympathy the way stone-pelters in the valley get. In fact, celebrity journalists some days wonder when would this ‘mob lynching madness’ stop.
When will this mob lynching madness stop? https://t.co/bVmvy0QFrV
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) June 13, 2018
but when mob pelts stones on security forces, they hardly ever condemn their actions.
Stone pelting, shooting down policemen, gun fights: is this the violent imagery that the Kashmir valley wants to show to the world on an auspicious occasion? Festivals should spread harmony not conflict surely #KashmirEid
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 22, 2018
Trolls with fictitious ‘sources’ masquerading as journalists too have a soft spot for stone-pelters.
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) February 23, 2017
But ‘lynching’ will stop only if police shoots at the mob.
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) July 24, 2018
Why the duality? Why, when both mobs are ‘angry civilians’, the so-called liberals demonise one but empathise with the other? Why is an angry gau rakshak mocked, ridiculed for protesting against killings of cows, but a Pakistan sponsored ‘protesting mob’ which takes to stone-pelting at security forces garners empathy? Why the double standards? Why are some lives less equal than others?