Srinagar, May 08: Khanyar witnessed one of the brutal massacres on 8th of May in 1991 when over 20 unarmed and innocent civilians fell to the bullets of the Indian troops.
The day will be remembered in the history of Kashmir along with other bloody incidents perpetrated by the Indian forces from time to time in this decade’s long conflict. The dusk was about to fall on the May 8, but before that 20 unarmed innocent people fell to the bullets. Among the killed were five women and an infant of around two years of age who were killed after the Indian forces started indiscriminate firing on the mourners carrying the dead bodies of the persons killed in Dachhigam incident and those killed at Saida Kadal locality were being brought for burial at Khanyar.
In this incident five women namely Fatima of Khanyar, Shamima of Rainawari, Samina of Rainawari, Dedri of Rajouri Kadal, Khati of Seshagari Mohalla Khanyar and an infant of two years got killed. The height of apathy and brutality was that the authorities did not allow anyone to perform the religious ceremonies. After some time when the firing stopped, people tried to move to their respective places, a group of paramilitary forces coming from Nowhatta started firing again on the passers-by due to which some more persons got killed and several others injured.
“The Valley was in shock as just a night ago bullets had rattled 50 innocent men including children, old and young had fallen to brazing terror leashed by the Indian Army, ” Ali Muhammad, an eyewitness of the massacre, recalls the incident.
“Each one was busy in prayers. A sudden roar in the narrow alleys across the road drew our attention, at once. The bodies were handed over. Cries were heard, bringing the quiet day to a shrieking end. Moments later the trigger was pushed yet again leaving more dead and injured,” he added.
A team of local and foreign media men tried their best to visit the spot but were not allowed by the forces’ personnel.
On February 28, 2013, a petition was filed by Chairman of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, in the Human Rights Commission of the territory. The petition states that on May 8, 1991, when a peaceful procession carrying bodies of persons killed in forces’ firing in Dachigam and of those killed in the troops’ firing in Srinagar’s Saida Kadal locality, were being brought for burial, the forces deployed at Khanyar opened fire on the mourners and killed 22 unarmed civilians, while injuring more than 52 others.
“After sometime when the firing stopped, people tried to move to their respective places, (when) a group of paramilitary personnel coming from Nowhatta started firing again on the passers-by, due to which some more persons got killed and a number of others injured,” the petition added.