Sunday, January 24, 2010

25 Handwara men fell to bullets protesting Gaw Kadal massacre

Handwara, Jan 24: It has been 20 years of wait for justice for the kin of 25 persons who were killed by the Border Security Force men on January 25, 1990 here.It was the bloodiest massacre that this town witnessed in turmoil.Four days after Gaw Kadal massacre in which 55 unarmed civilians were killed, the BSF men killed 25 mourners protesting against the massacre in Srinagar.Recalling the fateful day, eyewitnesses told Greater Kashmir that thousands marched from far flung villages of the Kupwara district towards the main town.The protesters marched towards the town with an organization ‘Itehad-ul-Muslimeen’ playing vital role in assembling and managing the marchers.“It was all peaceful as sea of humanity began to assemble at the main chowk and people hoisted green flag amid pro-freedom slogans like and Jagmohan ko Wapas Karo (recall Jagmohan),” said Nazir Ahmed Mir, the survivor of the massacre and a resident of town.“Suddenly BSF troopers in 407- TATA vehicle bearing registration number HVN-7717 appeared and resorted to indiscriminate firing on protesters near the police station without provocation. Some people who escaped and entered into the house of local politician to save their lives were shot dead by his guards,” eyewitness said, adding 25 persons were killed and dozens were wounded in the mayhem.“The killer troopers went berserk and sprayed bullets on us,” they added.Recalling the day when blood of victims was all over the streets of this town, Tariq Ahmed, whose uncle Ghulam Hassan, was among the 25 civilians killed, said: “The governments have no answer to our queries as to what led to this massacre. My uncle was not a militant but a protester. The troopers should not be spared and dealt sternly.”“If the government is sincere to heal our wounds, the case should be reinvestigated and the killers should be punished. We don’t know what happened to case,” said Tariq, resident of Yonsu.The status of the case registered by the police 20 years back is unknown. A worn out FIR copy of the case lies in police station Handwara which only carries the state government and BSF’s version and has no mention about killings of the innocent.The FIR stated that the protestors who were in thousands assembled from villages were raising provocative slogans and stoned and torched the BSF Tata 407 carrying eatables and also set Dak Banglow Handwara on fire.

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