Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|12/06/00 at 20:38:38|
Its when i read stories such as this that i realise how cheap words can be, and how inable i am to really affect anything. Subhanallah! Who could imagine that a govt. could initiate the cold-blooded murder of 36 innocent people, and that very government then has the audacity to tell the world (whose media by and large believed it) that the Muslims were responsible for this.
Just as the bombings of the apartment blocks in Russia which were used as a pretext to invade Chechnya.
Yet we sit and comment, sit and comment........
Eight months after massacre, Kashmir demands answers
By Peter Popham in Srinagar
5 December 2000
Mohammad Yaqoob Wagay, milkman and cricket fan, sits in the Central Jail in Srinagar, his position as futile as a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle when all the other pieces have been thrown away.
On the night of 20 March this year, several unidentified men entered the Sikh village of Chattisinghpura in the south of the Kashmir Valley, ordered 36 male villagers to line up against walls and shot them. Only one survived. This was the worst single massacre in Kashmir's 11-year insurgency, and, on the eve of President Bill Clinton's state visit to India, its political impact was massive and instantaneous.
Within hours, India's National Security Adviser, Brajesh Mishra, blamed Pakistani "cross-border terrorism" for the atrocity. American relations with Pakistan, chilly since the military coup that removed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in October 1999, sank a couple more notches. Mr Clinton's stopover in Islamabad a few days later was as frosty an exhibition of diplomacy as South Asia has seen for some years.
But who butchered those Sikhs? The police seemed to have a good lead. At 9am, the day after the killings, the Special Task Force, an élite corps of Kashmir's police, arrived at the home of Mr Wagay's family in a Muslim enclave on the edge of the Sikh village and took him away for questioning.
Four days later, on 25 March, the police said five of the "militants" responsible for the massacre had been killed in the village of Pathribal, 20km away, in an encounter with government paramilitaries. According to the local Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Farooq Khan, they had Mr Wagay to thank for the lucky break.
Mr Wagay, Mr Khan said, was "an above-ground militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen" (the most prominent militant group in Kashmir) and had led the "17 to 18" militants to the village that night to commit the massacre. "We had been working on Wagay's leads for the past few days," Mr Khan said. "It was only yesterday afternoon that we received a specific input regarding the presence of one of the militant groups in the Pathribal area."
Eight months later, the same "above-ground militant" sits in Srinagar jail, still bearing the marks of torture but cleared by Farooq Khan's successor, SSP Muneer Khanof, of any involvement in the massacre.
In police headquarters in Anantnag, the large town closest to the village, he told The Independent: "Wagay's involve- ment [in the massacre] was not established. He has been cleared."
He remains in prison, Mr Khan said, because "there was so much controversy about the case it was thought wise to keep him in judicial custody".
Mr Wagay's family agree. In the family home where he was arrested, his mother, father and other close relatives agreed that Mr Wagay was outside the house that evening when the massacre happened.
"He had offered evening prayers and was waiting outside for night prayers to begin," his uncle, Abdul Wahad, said. "When the firing started he came rushing in and said, 'Something's happened'." Mr Wagay made no attempt to flee, which is why he was so easily arrested the following morning.
Mr Wagay says he was severely tortured for 18 days in an effort to elicit information. His father, Sanaulla, said: "He told us he was tortured for many days, flesh was cut from his legs and he was hung upside-down. When we saw him at Anantnag police station he was unable to stand. He came to me on all fours and embraced me and wept."
Today Mr Wagay remains in jail because police and his family fear that if he were released someone who still connects him to the massacre might try to kill him.
During the eight months since the mass murder, the edifice the government erected to explain the events of that night has collapsed, leaving many other hapless collateral victims of Chattisinghpura.
The five "militants" supposedly identified by Mr Wagay and killed at Pathribal were actually civilians from nearby towns, pulled off the streets at random a few days before. Their bodies have been exhumed and returned to their families.
Most of these "fake encounter" victims were members of the Gujjar pastoral community. When a crowd of Gujjars took their anger to the streets in a demonstration of protest at the end of March, paramilitaries shot nine dead.
So who are the killers? Many Kashmiri Muslims and some Sikhs have long maintained that the massacre was the work of Indian government agents, as The Independent earlier reported. This made a horrible kind of sense: India gained a huge political boost from this timely show of alleged Pakistani turpitude, and they wasted no time in pinning the blame. Pakistan suffered heavily from its characterisation as a "terrorist state".
But nobody has come up with hard evidence that India was involved. The government maintains that the murderers were Pakistan-sponsored militants. In September, two alleged members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the most prominent militant groups in the Kashmir insurgency, were arrested in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, and charged with the murders. The case is pending.
The only valuable beam of light in this murky business has come from a judge from Madras, Ratnaveel Pandian, appointed by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, to inquire into the killing of Gujjar demonstrators.
The report of his one-man commission, submitted in October, recommended that seven members of the Central Reserve Police Force who shot them be tried for murder.
The state government has registered cases against the men. But he also pointed out that all these events – the fake encounter deaths, the demonstration deaths and the original massacre – were "links in a chain" and should be investigated together.
On 31 October, Mr Abdullah said he was launching a judicial inquiry into the original massacre. In Delhi, the central government is said to be "furious" at Mr Abdullah's decision. Mr Justice Pandian has since been formally requested to head the inquiry but has not yet agreed to do so. He said: "For a southerner like myself, it might be difficult to withstand the Kashmir winter." He denied he had been put under any pressure to turn down the new assignment.
|Re: oh my.|
|12/07/00 at 12:03:13|
That article is so true. Indian Paramilitary Personnel have time and again shown that they are capable of such a henious crime against humanity and Muslims. Once my cousin in India was cought betwen a group of Hindus throwing stones at another group of Muslims and the Cops came from behind the Hindu groups and honked at that group so they can pass thru and fire at Muslim group. This is one such incedent from the countless many that went undocumented. May Allah SWT show us muslims the right path and the courage to do more then sit and comment.
|Re: oh my.|
|12/11/00 at 01:41:23|
|If you find the Indian government treatement towards sikhs as sad, you might feel these details regarding the treatment towards Kashmiri women as 'gory' :(|
[url=http://www.guidedones.com/metapage/women/crimewom10.htm] Rape all Muslim women... [/url]
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