While condemning the brutal use of pellet guns and using excessive force on protesters across Kashmir, senior PDP leader and Member Parliament Muzaffar Hussain Beg Thursday expressed “doubt” over the operation in which Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani was killed.
Talking to KNS he said, “To my knowledge and reports, the operation in which Burhan was killed, was against the ruling of Supreme Court. The constitution bench of the apex court, which consisted of five judges and headed by chief justice Verma has given the judgement about the standard operation procedure (SOP) how to carry an operation even when AFSPA in force.”
Beg, who is renowned legal luminary of the state said, “The judgment had been given by the apex court in response to Nagaland Human Rights forum’s petition. However, in Burhan’s killing the apex court judgement appears to have been violated. According to a claim of an Army General that the operation ended in just 3.5 minutes, apparently, the militants were not given the offer to surrender.”
Asked what the apex court judgement states, the PDP MP said, “Wherever the army or police goes for any operation they have to take a magistrate along. Then in the presence of the magistrate, the militants have to be appealed in local language to surrender. If the militants refuse to surrender, then tear gas has to be used, so that militants are forced to leave the place where they are hiding. If, still it doesn’t work, then militants have to be warned and again. Then the forces have to shoot them on lower parts of the body.”
“However, in just 3.5 minutes of operation how could have been all these SOPs followed. It is clear that the apex court guidelines have been violated in Burhan’s killing, which is a serious offense,” Beg added.
The PDP leader appealed to the chief minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti to appoint a high level commission who would probe why the forces violated the apex court guidelines.
Beg further added that he believes that the Chief Minister was not taken into confidence to carry out this operation against Burhan.
“Had the Chief Minister been informed about the proposed operation she would naturally have taken into consideration various facts and issued appropriate directions to carry out the operation with minimum collateral damage and in accordance with law. She would have taken into the consideration that the operation against Burhan could have serious and wide raging consequences especially when the Amarnath Yatra is on and the tourist season is at its apex,” he said.
He said that she would have also taken into the consideration the facts that there was “reportedly no FIR lodged against Burhan”.
“It is one thing to kill a militant in an encounter when there is firing from both sides and it is a different thing to kill a militant without following the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and without giving an opportunity to the militant to surrender,” he said.
Beg hoped that Chief Minister who has always campaigned for human rights will investigate the facts and take action against those officials who are found to have flouted the rule of law and created a situation where an unprecedented number of about 1400 people have injured, hundreds of youth have lost their eye sights and dozens of people have died in a single day operation.
He also appealed to the Chief Minister to ensure that all the injured youth are provided complete and immediate treatment whether inside or outside the state.
Beg said that the only silver lining in the entire episode is a clear warning by the Prime Minister that forces should not use excessive force in dealing with mob uprising. “This will strengthen the hands of the Chief Minister in dealing with current situation in the state,” he said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch