Kupwara Shuts to Remember Victims of Massacre

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

A complete shutdown was observed in frontier district Kupwara against the cold-blooded massacre of 27 civilians including three policemen allegedly by the troopers of 31 Indian Medium Regiment on 27 January 1994.

All the shops and business establishments remained closed and transport was off the roads. The government offices and banks also noticed thin attendance in the town. Congregational Fateha Khawani was supposed to take place at Shaheed Mazaar, Kupwara, however, police sealed the grave yard and did not allow people to pay tributes to the victims of the massacre.

Chairperson International Forum for Justice Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Muslim Conference Chairperson Shabir Ahmed Dar and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Vice-Chairperson Sheikh Muhammad Afzal and senior separatist leader Zahool Ahmed Bhat staged a peaceful protest in Main Chowk Kupwara, however police swung into action and detained them in police station Kupwara.

The families of the victims criticized police for barring them from offering special prayers at Shaheed Mazaar. “This is injustice and unlawful to prevent mourners from offering prayers in favour of victims,” said a local to CNS.

It was on 27 January 1994 when the troopers of 31 Medium Regiment allegedly gunned down 27 civilians in Kupwara district for observing shutdown on the eve of India’s Republic Day.

Justice continues to elude the families of victims even after the expiry of 22 long years.

The First Information Report (FIR) vide number 19/1994 under section 302, 307 lodged in Police Station Kupwara reads that, “in a criminal assault, the troopers of 31 Medium Regiment who were on road opening party duty led by field officer S Bakhshi gunned down scores of people in indiscriminate firing in Kupwara market and its vicinity without any provocation.”

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