Survivors of Saderkot Massacre Monday staged a protest in Srinagar demanding an immediate arrest of the “main perpetrator”, Rashid Billa.
The protesters said J&K High Court had passed order on November 15, 2015 to arrest the accused involved in Saderkote massacre of October 5, 1996, “but till date, police haven’t initiated action”.
While recalling the horror, the survivors said they were punished for voting NC instead of Kuka Parray’s Awami League in 1996 elections. “Our only fault was that we voted for NC against the wishes of Rashid Billa who wanted us to vote for Awami League of a dreaded renegade Kuka Parray,” said Manzoor, the survivor.
On October 5, 1996, seven members of three families in Saderkoot-Bala, Bandipora, were killed by government gunmen—Ikhwan—“under the control of the13 Rashtriya Rifles”, camped in Manasbal. FIR no. 125/1996 has to date led to no arrests. This is despite the fact that eye-witnesses have clearly identified the government gunmen responsible for the massacre including “prime accused” Abdul Rashid Parray, alias Rashid Billa.
“On the fateful day, at around 7:30pm, a truck driven by Ghulam Rasool Guroo of Hajin loaded with ‘Ikhwanis’ led by notoriously dreadful renegade Rashid Billa turned up in our village Bunpora,” said one survivor. “He straightaway stormed our houses and fired indiscriminately.”
The survivors said that Billa is still roaming scot-free and comfortably doing job in rural development office in Sumbal.
The survivors also burnt effigy of Billa besides shouting slogans against him.