*Farooq Abdullah should be tried for crime against humanity*
*By Ashali Varma*
Narendra Modi was on track when he *blamed Farooq Abdullah for the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits*. I have written about Abdullah’s culpability before and it is criminal that he was never taken to task for this.
Dr. Abdullah abdicated his duty as the Chief Minister in 1990. *At least five lakh Kashmiri Pandits, whose ancestors lived in the valley for 5000 years were ethnically cleansed and it is horrifying that this happened in a democratic country under the nose of an elected Chief Minister. It seems that he was the CM only for the Muslims, he obviously did not care a fig about the Pandits.*
Then he has the gall to tell those who have voted for PM Modi that they should drown themselves in the sea! It is time he looked at his own past and take responsibility for what happened *under his tenure when a peaceful valley became akin to the Islamic State.* Anyone who was not Muslim was killed or made to leave.
*Do such people not have any conscience?*
*Farooq Abdullah played golf while Kashmir burnt*. He is the modern day Nero of India. *Abdullah was so into nightlife and fun that he was called Wazir-e-disco by Kashmiris.*
A reporter from Times Nows question asked him recently why he sympathised with Separatists and stone pelters and he said they have their grievances. It is a pity the reporter did not ask him about the grievances of the Kashmiri Pandits. I would love to know what he thinks about them, if he is capable of thinking.
*Farooq Abdullah remained silent when Advocate Premnath Bhat was killed in Anantnag. He did not do a thing when posters were pasted outside the Pandit’s homes threatening them to leave Kashmir or be killed.*
*Farooq Abdullah remained silent when the Wandhama massacre happened and when hundreds of Sikhs were killed in Chhatisingh Pura, Kashmir*.
*Farooq remained silent when loud speakers in mosques blared ethnic cleansing messages threatening Kashmiris Pandits to leave Kashmir, but not to take their daughters and wives with them. Something that only radicalised and really sick people would say. His silence only proves his approval of what was happening.*
*He did not lift a finger when Doordarshan director Lassa Kaul was killed in Srinagar and Justice Neelkanth Ganjoo was assassinated. Farooq Abdullah remained silent when advocate Tika Lal Taploo was assassinated in broad daylight in Srinagar.*
*Farooq Abdullah remained silent when nurse Sarla Ganju was hung on a tree after her breasts were cut off. This gross act was simply ignored in a democracy where the elected leader thought nothing of it.*
So many others were killed with impunity only because they were Pandits and Farooq Abdullah was never questioned or brought to justice even though all this happened when he was the Chief Minister.
As Indians we need to go into his murky past and it is not too late to bring these fact up in a court of law and have him tried for his crimes against humanity. *There are four lakh witnesses still living in exile who can point out what happened to them and how he just let it happen. As the Chief Minister he had the entire state machinery under him and could have stopped the murder and ethnic cleansing but did not do a thing. That makes him culpable. Very culpable, indeed. Several lakh Pandits driven from their lands are still living as refugees, waiting to go back to their land and homes. Don’t they need justice?*
The writer, Ashali Varma has authored the biography of her father late Lt. Gen. PS Bhagat — ‘The Victoria Cross: A Love Story’. She was executive producer with the International Commentary Service Inc, New York in 1990. She was the executive publisher of The Earth Times, New York (1992- 98). She has also worked as the editor of Choices Magazine, United Nations Development Programme. She writes on various issues including human rights, population and sustainable development.