Massacres

A massacre is a specific incident which involves the indiscriminate killing of a large number of people,although it is not necessarily a crime against humanity.

Over hundred thousand people have been killed in the longstanding Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan which have fought four wars over the highly contested territory during the past six decades. The people of this beautiful sacred valley have witnessed unprecedented violence, particularly upon the eruption of the armed rebellion, which was followed by ruthless counter insurgency offensive by the state.Kashmir is not new to such violent pasts as it has been subjected to every kind of oppression foe as long as we can remember. At several crucial historical milestones, the population of the region has been subjected to extreme violence by the state governancebe it the old monarchies of the land or the new democratically elected leaderships. Some of the highlighted massacres of Kashmir are, Central Jail Massacre (1931), Twenty-one civilians were killed when Dogra Army fired upon a crowd protesting outside Srinagar’s Central Jail on July 13, 1931.
The protesters were peacefully agitating the arrest of the Abdul Qadeer Khan, an associate of Jamaal-ud-din Afghani. The massacre as reported was the counter-reaction to the masses acceptance of Qadeer’s speech at Kanqah-e-Maula mosque that had sharply criticized people’s submissive role as the root cause of their subjugation and deprivation under Dogra rule. The massacre marks the beginning of Kashmir’s political struggle, and every year on July 13, is observed as ‘Martyrs Day’ in its remembrance. The slain men were laid to rest in the graveyard at Khawaja Naqshbandi’s shrine in Old Srinagar city.Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus (1990) The Hindus of the Kashmir Valley, a large majority of whom were Kashmiri Pandits, were forced to flee the Kashmir valley as a result of terrorism, around 20 January 1990. Of the approximately 160,000–170,000 Pandits living in the Kashmir Valley in 1990, only 4,000–5,000 remain there. Most families were resettled in Jammu, Delhi and other neighboring states.As of 2016, there are only 2,764 Kashmiri Hindus left in Kashmir Valley.Gawkadal Massacre (1990), Over 50 civilians were killed and hundreds others injured, when Indian troops fired indiscriminately over the crowd that had assembled on Srinagar’s Gawkadal Bridge on January 20, 1990. The incident occurred after news about the molestation of women during a search operation in Chota Bazar area of Srinagar spread all across the city. Thousands came out on roads and began to march towards the old city area of Srinagar. When the procession reached the Gawkadal Bridge, the paramilitary forces deployed there, opened indiscriminate fire killing over 50 demonstrators. The incident took place immediately after Shri Jagmohan Malhotra took over as governor of the state, and announced to deal sternly with those who would demand freedom.Hawal Massacre (1990), Fifty-six civilians were killed and dozens were left injured when Indian army fired upon on the procession in Hawal area. The procession was taken out after unidentified gunmen killed pro-independence leader Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq at his residence in Hazratbal area. On May 21, 1990, when people were taking the slain body of Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq for funerals, they were intercepted by paramilitary who indiscriminately fired upon the mourners.A case was registered at Police Station Nowhatta, but even after two and a half decades, the probe into the incident is still under investigation with the Crime Branch, and is yet to put any responsibility of the massacre.Sopore Massacre (1993), Over 55 civilians were killed by the Border Security Forces in Sopore on January 6, 1993. The firing was in retaliation to the killing of one BSF personnel, who was killed by armed group of rebels. Besides, the troopers also burned down more than 250 shops and 50 homes.The Border Security Forces sprayed a public coach with machine-gun fire, killing the driver and more than 15 passengers. Three other cars were also fired on, and then the paramilitary forces set the vehicles on fire. Next, they began forcing the natives into shops and houses, and then the security forces shot them, threw paraffin over the bodies and set the buildings ablaze. Bijbehara Massacre (1993), Over 50 civilians were killed and 200 injured when they were fired upon by the Border Security Force in Bijbehara on October 22, 1993. The people had led a peaceful protest against the Hazratbal siege, where rebels had taken refuge. The agitators were demanding lifting of the cordon. Though the figures vary but as Amnesty International reported, at least 51 people died and 200 were wounded on that day, which included incidents in Srinagar and Bijbehara. The firing had lasted for ten minutes. After many official enquiries the government indicted the BSF in March 1994 for firing into the crowd without provocation and charged 13 Border Security Force officers with murder. But a nonpublic General Security Force Court trial conducted in 1996, however, led to their acquittal.Handwara Massacre (1990), 26 civilian protesters were killed on January 25, 1990 in Handwara after they were fired upon allegedly by troops.Zukoora & Tengpora Massacre (1990), 33 civilian protesters were killed and 47 injured at Zukoora Crossing and Tengpora Bypass Road in Srinagar on March 1, 1990. The paramilitary massacred the demonstrators, who were calling for the implementation of a United Nations resolution regarding a plebiscite. Khanyar Massacre (1991), Over 20 civilians were massacred by paramilitary forces in Old City’s Khanyar area.Batekote Massacre (1991),On October 1, 1991 militants attacked an army convoy returning after combing operation in Bhaki Haker, in Handwara district. While one soldier was killed, the militants managed to escape. This was enough provocation for the security forces to act in revengeful manner against the local citizens.The army laid siege of the village for a retaliatory action in which it resorted to killings of innocents and even in acts of arson and rape. The typical official hand-out after the incident claimed that 10 persons were killed in crossfire, all being civilians. Wandhama Massacre (1998), On January 25, 1998, 23 Kashmiri Pandits of Wandhama village were killed by unidentified gunmen. According to the testimony of one of the survivor, the gunmen came to their house dressed like Indian Army soldiers. Police failed to arrest or get anyone convicted, and the case was subsequently closed.Chattisinghpora, Pathribal, and Barakpora Massacre (2000), On March 20, 2000, unidentified gunmen dressed in Indian army fatigues, entered the village of Chattisinghpora in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, and systematically shot dead 35 Sikh men. The massacre took place on the eve of US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the Subcontinent. The incident was blamed on two militant organizations, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahedeen, but the Hurriyat Conference accused the government of carrying out the massacre to discredit the Kashmir’s’ independence movement.On March 25, five civilians – supposedly militants responsible for Chattisinghpora were killed by Army in the Pathribal forests. This was later found to be a fake encounter. Following this, April 3, eight civilians protesting the fake encounter were killed in CRPF and police firing in Brakpora area of the district.Nadimarg Massacre (2003),In March 2003, alleged militants killed 24 Pandits in Nadimarg village of Pulwama district.Doda Massacre(2006)two separate attacks took place that day in neighboring areas. In the first attack 22 unarmed Hindu villagers, mostly shepherds or their families, were lined up and gunned down by suspected terrorists in Thawa village in Kulhand area of Doda district on the night of 30 April 2006. The victims included a 3-year-old girl. 10–12 militants wearing army uniforms perpetrated the massacre, the doctor appointed to perform the post mortem suffered a heart attack on seeing the bodies.The second attack in the neighboring Lalon Galla village in Basantgarh area of Udhampur district, 13 Hindu shepherds kidnapped by suspected terrorists were shot dead on the same day.