Years on: Kupwara massacre victims’ families still await justice

Srinagar, January 27, 2018 (PPI-OT):In occupied Kashmir, justice continues to elude the families of the victims of Kupwara massacre even after the passing of twenty four years. Indian troops had massacred 27 civilians in Kupwara town on 27th January in 1994, a day after India’s Republic Day. Local people had told the media and investigation agencies that a day before the carnage took place, an army officer had asked the local shopkeepers not to observe shutdown and attend the Republic Day celebrations at the local camp. However, they shopkeepers didn’t turn up at the celebrations. But the next day, when they were opening their shops, Indian soldiers came in trucks and fired at them indiscriminately, killing 27 people and injuring scores others.

In the wake of a petition filed by the Chairman of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, the Human Rights Commission of the occupied territory had asked the authorities concerned to submit a report about the massacre.

The police investigation team had sought response from the army, which issued a letter stating that a Court of Inquiry had been constituted to probe the incident but the outcome of the Court of Inquiry was not furnished to the police.

The CID report reads that on 24th September 2004, the police re-opened the case and then additional SP was tasked with the inquiry but despite repeated requests the army did not provide the requisite information. However, the army services corps’ 31 medical regiment had said that no documents regarding the case were lying with it and asked the CID to approach the 28 Infantry Division.

A letter was written to the 28 infantry division on 28 May 2005 for information regarding the case but till date the said unit has furnished nothing even after repeated reminders. In a rejoinder filed by Muhammad Ahsan Untoo on May 11, 2012, Inspector General of Police (CID) submitted a report to the Director General of Police, wherein he stated that the forces deployed in Kupwara under the command of 2nd lieutenant S Bakshi had indiscriminately fired at Bus Stand Kupwara without any provocation, killing several persons besides injuring many others.

The Human Rights Commission had also asked the Indian ministry of home affairs to persuade the ministry of defence to cooperate with the police in the investigation. The home ministry had referred the case to the defence ministry but no progress was made.

For more information, contact:
Kashmir Media Service
Phone: +92-51-4435548, +92-51-4435549
Fax: +92-51-4861736
Email: info@kmsnews.org
Website: www.kmsnews.org