Srinagar, Jan 21: At the onset of a militant rebellion against the Indian rule Kashmir Pandits left in droves, but a few stayed back and vividly remember the bloodshed and violence that wrecked the Himalayan region.
Among those who stayed back many quietly lived their lives, but some dared to say ‘I protest’.
A resident of Gawkadal, Manohar Lal was among those who witnesses a gory bloodshed unleashed on marches by Indian government forces on January 21, 1991 in his locality located in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar.
Lal, a retired government official, says everyone was wailing and blood was all around.
Lal and his wife, Rachna, bear witness to the killing of innocent people and say they keep on narrating the woeful tales to their children.
“After the incident, I didn’t move out from my home for one month (out of fear). Our Muslim neighbors used to provide us the essentials. I pray to God that whatever happened in the past must not happen again,” he says.
Unlike other member of his community, Lal also participates in protest demonstrations on January 21 to mark the anniversary of the massacre, although it has been his secret.
“I participate in the demonstration to register my silent protest against the incident that took place before my eyes,” he says.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep among the Muslims in Kashmir who form the majority in Jammu and Kashmir where an armed conflict erupted in the early nineties to end the Indian rule.
“I keep it a secret. I do not tell other protesters that I am a Pandit,” he says.