By Hamid Waheed
The importance of Investigative Journalism has always been of great value for a society to discover truth and reality. However fast moving environment filled with latest media technologies and social networking has further enhanced its importance. The buzz phrase remains “truth can never be hidden” but to counter such investigative journalism a media with an agenda keeps blurring the truth through perceptions.
The journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark an award-winning investigative journalist in their book comprising 500 pages put on sale from 1st May 2012 "The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 — Where the Terror Began" claim that a group of foreign tourists, two Americans, two Britons, a German and a Norwegian were murdered by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for the Indian Army back in 1995. The Indian government, Indian Intelligence agencies and Indian Military prolonged their capture and sabotaged negotiations with the kidnappers which resulted in the killing of the hostages. This was later discovered that it was an Indian conspiracy to put the blame on Pakistan and its intelligence agencies afterwards for the killing and kidnapping of the tourists. However, upon investigation it was learned that the men were killed by another group, funded and controlled by the Indian government. Quoting the Kashmir police’s crime branch squad, the two authors write that the investigators had been convinced that the Government-controlled renegades had the control of four Westerners after Al Faran dropped them. Adrian Levy told in a interview to NYT that “We also determined the exact route taken by the kidnappers, and followed that route, through Anantnag, and over in Kishtwar and the Warwan Valley, interviewing hundreds of villagers over the years, staying in Sukhnoi where we learned from villagers, and then the IB and the J&K police, the hostages had been deliberately penned in for 11 weeks approximately, while they were observed in detail and near daily, by an Indian helicopter.”
The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited India’s capital recently to meet with government officials and business leaders. It is hoped that Ban would have also discussed India’s own human rights record. A New York-based rights group accuses India of abuses like extrajudicial killings and widespread torture by troops and police. Ban should press the Indian government to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which gives the military sweeping powers to act in troubled and insurgency-wracked areas, including Indian-controlled Kashmir and the states of Manipur and Nagaland. The humane stance on Siachen by Pakistan also leads the social organisations to impress on India to stop environmental and human rights violations .