Khanyar Massacre: 1991, Government submits reply to SHRC

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    Srinagar, Feb 14: In response to a petition filed by International Forum for Justice Chairman Muhammad Ahsan Untoo regarding Khanyar Massacre of 1991 in which over 22 innocent civilians according to petitioner were killed by armed forces, Jammu Kashmir Home Department has submitted a reply to State Human Rights Commission after a gap of five years.

        Government in it’s reply has said that the investigation with regard to killing of civilians at Khanyar case was closed and challaned. It said that the file was submitted to Home Department for accord of government sanction, wherefrom the case file was returned with some observations/queries. “The same were replied and the file was again submitted to Government Home Department for accord of sanction, but the same has been received back from Government Home Department vide letter number Home/Pros/23/2017/5225 dated 14/12/2017 for English translation of copy of FIR statement of witness, final report and incriminating material relied upon and other documents in the CD file. The file will be submitted back to government Home Department immediately after translation of the requisite documents by IGP Kashmir Zone Srinagar.”

        The petitioner Muhammad Ahsan Untoo had filed the petition on 28 February 2013 before the SHRC and the Division Bench of the Commission presided by Mr Javaid Kawoosa and Mr Rafiq Fida had sought report from Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir.

    Petition:  “About five in the evening on May 8, 1991, when a peaceful procession carrying the dead bodies of persons killed in Dachigam incident and those killed at Saidakadal locality were being brought for burial, reciting verses of Holy Quaran, the armed forced deployed at Khanyar Srinagar area of Kashmir Valley started indiscriminate firing on the mourners and killed about 20 unarmed civilians and injured more than 52 persons.”

        “In this incident one infant aged two years and his father were also killed. Also four persons of the same family got killed whose dead bodies were in the mosque of the locality till late night. Number of dead persons could not be identified and were buried later after great difficulty. The authorities didn’t allow anyone to perform the religious ceremonies.”

        “A team of local and foreign media men tried their best to visit the spot but were not allowed by the Forces and the Government. However, some media men already accompanying the mourners procession while performing their professional duties have also witnessed the occurrence and agreed that no provocation was offered by anyone from the mourners but armed forces indiscriminately fired and killed scores of people.”

       “After sometime when the firing stopped, people tried to move to their respective places, a group of Para-military forces coming from Nowhatta started firing again on the passers-by due to which some more persons got killed and number of others injured.”

       “This again is clear evidence that innocent people are being killed in Kashmir. In this incident five ladies namely Fatima of Khanyar, Shamima of Rainawari, Samina of Rainawari, Dedri of Rajourikadal, Khati of Seshagari Mohalla Khanyar and an infant of two years got killed.”

        “Some official was nominated by the Government to look into the massacre, however, people rejected the appointment. They apprehended that the official was to clear the guilty personnel. They demanded enquiry by a judge of High Court, sitting or retired. Government didn’t agree for obvious reasons of exposure. The people of Kashmir therefore choose to appoint a public enquiry commission headed by a retired judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Justice MB Farooq was kind enough to extend his services,” the petition reads. (CNS)