Wednesday, January 27, 2010

27 Kashmiris killed by armymen for observing shutdown on Jan 26

Flashback: January 27th, 1993
Courtesy: Daily Greater Kashmir dated January 27th, 2009 by Shahid Rafiq
Kupwara, Jan 26: The residents of this border district have a reason to observe shutdown on January 26.
It was on January 27, 1993 that 27 civilians fell to indiscriminate firing by the troops.
According to eye-witnesses, troops gunned down the people in Kupwara town for observing shutdown on Republic Day.
The survivors alleged that killing was to punish the people for observing shutdown on January 26.
They disclosed that a patrolling party of Punjab regiment had warned the shopkeepers on the eve of January 26 of dire consequences if they observed strike and didn’t celebrate the Republic Day.
“As the shopkeepers opened their shops on January 27, the troops opened fire from all directions killing 27 people. After the gruesome massacre, they asked us to assemble in the ground and undergo an identification parade,” said a survivor.
He said that no one was allowed to lift the bodies and take the injured to the hospital.
“A boy died in front of his father, who begged the troops to allow him to take his son to the hospital. But they didn’t pay heed to his pleas,” he revealed.
After the incident, police registered a case FIR No- 19/94 under sections 302, 307 dated 27-1-94 in police station Kupwara.
The FIR reads: “in a criminal assault, the jawans of 31 medium regiment who were on ROP (road opening duty) led by field officer S Bakhshi gunned down scores of people in indiscriminate firing in Kupwara market and its vicinity without any provocation.”
After 17 years of registration of FIR, justice to bring perpetrators of the massacre to book eludes the kin of the victims.
On Tuesday, this town observed a complete shutdown today and held a commemorative meeting at Regipora martyrs’ graveyard where people in large number prayed for peace to the departed souls.
“We demand that the case should be reopened and killers be punished,” said those who attended the meeting.
“We are waiting for the day when killers would be punished,” said Tariq Khan, one of the survivors.
MLA Kupwara Mir Saif-ullah paid his homage to the civilians martyred.
“I will seek a report from district development commissioner Kupwara about the steps of relief and rehabilitation of the sufferers of Kupwara massacre,” he told Greater Kashmir.
“I will take up the matter with top police officials and seek from them the status of the Kupwara massacre case. The perpetrators of should be brought to book,” he said.

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