Letter: Political killing adds to Kashmir's woes

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The Independent Online
Sir: I share P. M. Varadarajan's concern (letter, 8 April) over the death of Abdul Guru in Kashmir, but not his accusation that he was killed by the Indian security forces. Although a supporter of Kashmiri independence, Dr Guru was a moderate leader who abhorred violence and disapproved of the Kashmiri militants' heavy-handed tactics. It seems pointless killing a man who was not only in favour of a negotiated settlement but was also willing to act as a mediator between the Kashmiri militants and the Indian government.

In fact, the death of Dr Guru has left a void in the body politic of Kashmir. There are not many moderates left in the Kashmir Valley who are prepared to condemn the violence and terrorism perpetrated both by the security forces and the militants.

Those who had the courage to raise their voices against the atrocities being committed in the name of Kashmiri independence have been silenced. This includes not only people such as Dr Guru but also 100,000 Kashmiri Hindus who have been forced by the militants' violence to flee the valley.

There has been a terrible violation of human rights in Kashmir, both by the security forces and the militants. But, somehow, human rights activists and organisations only appear to provide 'the oxygen of publicity' to the abuses committed by the paramilitary forces, not by the militants. Such a dual perception and double standard of human rights violations would hardly be any consolation to the suffering people of Kashmir.

Yours faithfully,


Gants Hill,


9 April