1993 massacre: Sopore remains shut, Hizb chief pays tribute
Sopore, a town in the north Kashmir, remained shut on Wednesday to commemorate the killing of nearly 50 civilians and destruction of more than 500 shops by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel 23 years ago.Updated: Jan 06, 2016 20:42 IST
Sopore, a town in the north Kashmir, remained shut on Wednesday to commemorate the killing of nearly 50 civilians and destruction of more than 500 shops by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel 23 years ago.
Locals said almost all shops and institutions remained closed, and streets remained deserted. Special prayers were offered in mosques and graveyards.
According to reports, On January 6, 1993, a BSF jawan was killed by unidentified militants at Sopore’s main market. In retaliation, a group of BSF personnel opened fire indiscriminately.
According to eye-witness accounts recorded at that time, the personnel sprinkled kerosene and gun powder on shops and houses and set them on fire.
“Massacres like the Sopore one continue to haunt Kashmiris because there has been no closure. No one has been punished and the case has been hanging since 23 years. If a young Kashmiri child reads about it today, he will be provoked,” said a Srinagar-based senior journalist Sheikh Mushtaq.
The Valley was hit after the incident, said observerss. The case was handed over to the CBI, who sought a closure on the investigations in December 2013.
In June 2014, the massacre victims filed a protest petition against the closure report filed by the CBI but nothing has come out of it as yet.
“23 years after the Sopore massacre, the legal proceedings stand suspended as there exists no will to provide justice, despite evidences indicting BSF,” said a statement issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).
Local news agency CNS reported that Syed Salahuddin, chief of the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, has paid tribute to the victims of Sopore massacre.
The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) called the Sopore incident as the “blackest chapter in Kashmir history that can never be erased in the annals of history.”
“First, Indian troopers kill innocent civilians and then culprits are shielded and given clean chit,” said a statement by the leaders.