There are reports that the Jammu & Kashmir PDP-BJP government has confiscated a video showing in detail the manner in which a group of terrorists, who had come to listen to a sermon from Mirwaiz Umar Farooq killed Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mohammed Ayub Pandith. According to a highly credible report, the gallant officer was “stripped naked and violently pummelled. His arms and legs were bent and broken just as someone breaks a sugarcane.” This according to an individual who saw the video before it was destroyed. More than locating the monsters who perpetrated such an atrocity on a human being, the immediate concern of the state government seems to have been to locate the individual who shot the video, and to take it away from him so as to destroy it. The barbaric manner of the fatal assault on the police officer indicates that ISIS has struck roots in the Kashmir valley, as the method of murder was exactly that favoured by that terror organisation. Inflicting the most grievous harm in the most painful way as a means of ending life. Had those running the state of Jammu & Kashmir control over the internet, they would have removed or otherwise blocked videos showing the way in which elements of ISIS despatched their victims to the other world. The ghastly way in which this was done may have attracted to the fold some depraved and psychotic individuals, but overall the result was to engender revulsion of the group, especially in the Muslim community. It was this reaction to videos freely available that ensured the constriction of ISIS in its existing strongholds and the steady shrinking of the territory in its control. Had the video of the assassination of Deputy Superintendent Pandith been preserved and made available, it is certain that the overwhelming majority of the population of the state of Jammu & Kashmir would have felt deep revulsion for the murderers. Such a mood would have assisted the security forces in their struggle to keep at bay the forces of terror and violence that have been let loose on Kashmir by GHQ Rawalpindi. The video would also have been helpful in identifying the perpetrators of the horror that was visited on a son, a husband and a loving father by a collection of ghoulish individuals intent on murder most foul.
Why the state government has sought to shield the perpetrators from opprobrium by releasing the video, rather that destroying it, is not difficult to understand. It is part of the policy of appeasement of terror elements and practitioners of violence that has been followed in Kashmir for decades, and which is responsible for the fact that security in the valley is still in a parlous state, despite the expenditure of nearly two hundred thousand crore rupees of taxpayer money in the pursuit of a peaceful and prosperous Kashmir. The killers of the police officer are not the first individuals to enjoy the effective protection of the state government. Identified killers of dozens of Pandits in the valley are still at large, a quarter century after they committed the capital crimes they openly admit to being guilty of. Indeed, they admit to such deeds with pride, aware that the worse their depredations are, the more likely it is that the state will indulge them and thereby permit them to repeat their atrocities. Those who killed Deputy Superintendent of Police Pandith will assuredly do so again, confident that their crimes will be ignored and condoned by the state government. By destroying the Pandith video, an instrument that would have had great value in showing the evil within the practitioners of violence and terror in Kashmir was deliberately destroyed. Given such an attitude on the part of those sworn on oath to defend the public interest, it is clear that a substantial part of the problem in Kashmir is the way in which the state government has used kid gloves, rather than the mailed fist on terrorists and their associates, the same kind that took the life of a courageous police officer, who was ironically seeking to protect the very mob, elements of which took his life.