The 22-year-old Baramulla youth, Ubaid Manzoor, who got injured after armed forces fired at protestors near Nadihal village on June 25, died on Tuesday while as another youth, Tamsheel Ahmad Khan, aged 18 was killed after forces fired at protestors near an encounter site in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. Last Saturday three civilians were killed after armed forces fired at protestors using assault rifles, with the toll in the last few days reaching to five. Civilian killings and zero accountability of armed forces in Kashmir has become a new norm with the young and children, both boys and girls, falling to bullets of the trigger-happy forces. After two former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who expressed their disapproval over civilian killings, Governor NN Vohra too expressed anguish over the concern that has dented the image of two successive governments who failed to protect the youth of Kashmir. Unbridled powers wielded by armed forces is only a part of the problem, the other equally appalling factor being the government’s approach (union government) to deal with situation in Kashmir. Castigated as “muscular approach” by none other than former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, New Delhi does not seem to budge from its iron fist policy. Armed forces and the state police made it amply clear that anyone who tries to foil their counter-insurgency operations will be treated in the same manner as a militant. With the result the armed forces have resorted to indiscriminate firing on the protestors particularly during the encounters and search operations. The killings have not deterred people, youth especially, to come near the sites and stage protests. While the government has shown its defiance to admit the underlying causes of the protests and address the situation politically instead of militarily, it has manifested as a bitter truth that stands more exposed today than brushed under the carpet. As some political analysts conclude, the danger of Kashmir being put at the altar to gain political mileage seems to have turned into a reality. The nightmare that is civilian killings is going to haunt the governments and all shades of political groupings in the state for a long time. Kashmir has been pushed to the brink of a civilian uprising and if the killings will not stop history may repeat sooner than thought.