20 March 2000: 34 Sikhs were Butchered in South Kashmir

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

On 20 March 2000, when the then US present Bill Clinton was supposed to arrive in India, unknown gunmen went berserk in Chittisinghpora and killed at least 34 Sikhs there.

The unknown gunmen ordered all of the Sikh men and boys to assemble at the village Gurudwara, and systematically shot and killed 34 of them. Many others were injured in the attack, and least one man later died of his injuries. The sole survivor of the massacre was Nanak Singh Aulakh, who recounted the events to reporters.

Former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah while addressing a Sikh conference at SKICC claimed that he has written about everything about Chattisinghpora massacre and that book will get released after his death.

Though intelligence agencies blamed militant organization for the death of the innocent Sikhs but the human rights organizations accused Indian Army for the killings stating that it were forces that orchestrated the attack.

This was the first time in the Kashmir conflict that Sikhs had ever been targeted.

The massacre, which took place on the eve of U S President Bill Clinton’s visit to the Subcontinent, was widely condemned by both the Indian and Pakistani governments, as well as the leaders of the Kashmiri separatist movement.

Although the Government of India and the state government of Jammu and Kashmir had not yet launched any official investigation into the massacre, they immediately accused two militant organisations, Lashkar-e- Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, however, accused the Indian government of carrying out the massacre to discredit the Kashmiri independence movement, while Syed Salahuddin, head of Hizbul Mujahideen said: “Mujahideen have nothing against the Sikh community which sympathizes with our struggle. We assure them there will never be any danger to Sikhs from Kashmiri freedom fighters.”

All the Sikh organizations in Kashmir accuse India of carrying out the Chattisinghpora massacre. “The reality is that Indian forces killed innocents in Pathribal to hide their misdeeds,” said a top Sikh leader.

The Chattisinghpora incident invited condemnation all over the world. The All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee appeals to the incumbent dispensation to identify the killers and punish them.

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