The relatives of people who were killed in the Kashmir unrest said that they seek justice and not compensation, even as chief minister Mehbooba Mufti announced, on Monday, that each family will receive Rs 5 lakh and other compensatory measures, and there will be a district-level SIT probe into the killings.
Nasir Shafi Qazi, 11, was the youngest casualty of the unrest. He was killed by pellets in September last year. “You give compensation, when you accept your mistakes. The government is admitting to its mistakes,” said Nasir’s brother Mohammad Mansoor Shafi.
“In Kashmir, the killers do not get punishment, and we do not want compensation. Alhamdulillah jo hain, jaise hain zindagi guzaar lenge. (By God’s grace, we can live with whatever we have).”
Sartaz Ahangar, uncle of Basit Ahmad Ahangar, a 19-year-old sporting star from Veesu in Anantnag, who was killed during clashes in September last year, said, “Government is offering Rs 5 lakh. I can pay Rs 10 lakh and sell my land if they punish those who killed Basit.”
“We don’t need the money, bring the killers to book. Even if India gives me all of its wealth, I will still seek justice for the dead boy,” he added.
As Mehbooba promised justice, she said in the legislative assembly in Jammu that the deaths of a college lecturer in Khrew village and an ATM guard in Srinagar during the unrest will be probed by Special Investigation Teams (SITs).
Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, a 30-year-old college lecturer, was allegedly beaten to death by army men in Khrew in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district in August, 2016. The army had regretted the incident and ordered a probe into the matter.
On Tuesday, his distraught family said that the only way Shabir could get justice is by bringing his killers to the book.
“What had to happen has happened. Now, government is offering jobs and money, but will that make him come back? The person who had committed the crime should be punished,” said Aijaz Ahmad Lone, brother of Shabir.
“Four months have passed. Had the state government done anything? Will the accused, still be on duty?” he added.
Riyaz Ahmad Shah of Srinagar’s Chattabal area was shot with a pellet gun from point-blank range in August, 2016, while he was returning from work. The pellet cartridge had burst inside his body, leaving 350-odd tiny metallic particles and perforating the organs.
His brother Shakeel Ahmed Shah shared the same anxiety as Aijaz.
“Riyaz was killed in August and over four months have passed now. But nothing has happened till now. But yes, the chief minister has announced that investigation will be done. So, let’s hope for the best,” said Shakeel.