JKCCS for justice to Sadarkoot Bala massacre victims

Srinagar, May 10, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) has said that the arrest of a government gunman, Wali Mohammad Mir, by police is a welcome step but whether justice will be delivered to the victims of Sadarkoot Bala massacre.

The arrest of Wali Mohammad Mir is the only arrest made in the case so far, the JKCCS said in a statement. The other two accused include another government gunman Rashid Billa, who was killed by unknown persons in April 2017 (while he was absconding) and his associate Muhammad Ayoob Dar, who is still at large, it said.

The statement further said, “All three were the main accused in the massacre of seven civilians at Saderkoot Bala village in Bandipora on October 05, 1996. On the evening of October 5, 1996, the government gunmen called Ikhwanis – led by Rashid Billa – arrived at the home of one Ghulam Qadir Dar, pro-India National Conference worker, and shot dead four members of his family. The gunmen went on to kill three more people in Saderkoot-Bala and then escaped. The victims included children and women. An FIR was filed against the gunmen, naming Rashid Billa and two others as the main accused.”

The victim families filed a writ petition in April 2014 in the High Court of the territory demanding their arrest. The petition is still pending in the high court, with one of the main culprits killed, the other arrested and third still at large. The JKCCS said the families of the Saderkoot massacre have repeatedly demanded the arrest of the killers and have sought justice however, the police have completely failed to provide them the same.

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