Children inure to violence in conflict ridden kashmir
By: Sheikh Arshid
Kashmir has been become the target of turmoil, taken a new dimension when people particularly young children have been witnessing this kind of violence from birth and it is not new to them.
Children have become resilient to over react this violence started innovative ways such as pelting stones on security forces to express their aggression and protest for the cause of freedom.
In turn they get attacked by the armed personnel with pellets, rubber bullets, sling shots and tear gas shells and even bullets.
This leads to eye-injuries and several other kind of injuries to many people. Security forces also face injuries, and sometimes get beaten up during these events.
Most of the ‘stone-pelters’ are school and college going students. Large number of these people get arrested during these events for allegedly resorting to stone pelting, after which some of them are also tortured. Stone has become an easily accessible and raw weapon, the weapon of choice for protest.
Past two or three generations in Kashmir have witnessed this kind of violence and turmoil; the lack of peace and the cloud of violence is almost palpable.
Kashmiri kids are immune to this environment, they have grown up in the midst of abductions, encounters, bomb blasts, stone pelting and tear-gas shelling. Experts believe that in Kashmir the cycle of violence has affected many students psychologically and behaviourally and the changes are visible in them .
During festivals such as Eid, toy guns designed as AK-47 and AK-56 are extremely popular and enjoying by creating imaginative encounters. They are uploading videos of themselves taking part in “ambushes” on social media, imitating militants and security forces. A few parade with toy guns carved out of wood thus showing how they have grown up in turmoil .
Remember fighting between government forces and protestors have inadvertent effect on Kashmiri children. These demonstrations are not held in few districts but whole Kashmir is now involved , many children have been killed as a result of violence especially at encounter sites.
Education sector has been badly hit in Kashmir Valley causing “irreversible loss” to these children . Economic Survey Report has said. “Due to the closure of schools, the academic session got badly hit to the extent that it caused irreversible loss of study and tuitions to the students. The exams conducted by J&K Board and DIET even at University level got no accountability because they have hit by stone pelting and protestations badly.
Continuous violence and ongoing human rights violations and to deliver justice for all people in Kashmir who have been suffering several decades of conflict now needs a permanent resolution in political view so that at least there can be an end to these cycles of violence. Remember Such a resolution can only be brought about by meaningful dialogue that includes the people of Kashmir and other respective stakeholders then only future of these children can be saved from this turmoil.
Author is a Research scholar from Kuchmullah TRAL
Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Valley Online’s editorial stance.