Survivors of Twin Poonch Massacres Accuse CBI of Inaction



Sailan Massacre survivors protest in Srinagar. (Photo: Mehraj Din/KL)
Sailan Massacre survivors protest in Srinagar. (Photo: Mehraj Din/KL)

On Monday, the survivors of the Sailan and Mohra Bachai massacres protest the “inaction of the CBI and the violence of Indian army and Jammu and Kashmir Police” in Srinagar’s Press Enclave.

“We protest the fact that perpetrators of crimes such as present IG (Traffic) JP Singh continue to be protected and rewarded by various government in power,” the survivors of the massacre said.

On 17th anniversary of a mass killing which took place in Sailan village, Poonch District on the night of August 3-4, 1998, the relatives of slain decried over the elusive justice.

“19 people, including 11 children ranging in age from about 4 years to 15 years, and 5 women (including one woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy) was shot to death at point blank range in their homes in Sailan, in the Surankote Tehsil, of Poonch District,” said the survivor of the massacre.

“A total of 13 females and 6 male members of three closely related families were killed by 4 Special Police Officers (SPOs), personnel from 9 Paratroopers, an elite commando unit of the Indian Army, and Jammu and Kashmir police officer, then Superintendent of Police (Poonch), JP Singh, is also implicated in the cover up.”

The protesters said the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered fresh investigations by the CBI in this case in November 2012 but “despite the passage of almost 3 years (and 17 years since the massacre) very little by way of investigations have taken place”.

Less than a year after the Sailan Massacre, on June 29, 1999, 15 members of related families were killed in Mohra Bachai, Poonch district. “The houses of the families were razed to the ground, and burnt with the bodies of the dead inside,” the protesters said. “Once again the accused were the army, SPOs and then Superintendent of Police (Poonch) JP Singh.”

As in the Sailan case, where the CBI has sought to cover up the case, the protesters said, “it appears the police have also ensured a cover up in the Mohra Bachai case.”

“The struggle for justice at the very least ensures that the crimes and the perpetrators are not forgotten,” the survivors said. “In the process the judicial process is also under scrutiny.”

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