Srinagar: Several pro-freedom leaders Monday visited Bijbhera to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the 1993- Bijbehara massacre in which 43 civilians were killed by government forces.
The leaders who visited the south Kashmir town include Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front vice-chairman, Advocate Bashir Ahmad Bhat, National Front (NF) chairman, Nayeem Khan, JKLF (H) chairman, Javid Ahmad Mir, Islamic Political Party patron, Mohammad Yousuf Naqash, Peoples league chairman, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Muslim Conference leader Shabir Ahmad Dar while as Democratic Freedom Party chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah could not visit being under house arrest, statements issued by various pro-freedom groups said.
“While paying tributes to the martyrs, the leaders on the occasion said that the massacre of innocent people at Bijbehara reminds us of the ruthlessness and tyranny of Indian forces, which showered bullets on peaceful protesters and killed them,” a statement issued by the JKLF said.
“Leaders said that tyranny and ruthless approach cannot subjugate a just cause and people,” the statement added.
As per the statement, the speakers lamented that perpetrators of the massacre were roaming free even after 19 years.
A statement issued by the NF said that its chairman, Nayeem Khan while speaking on the occasion “paid rich tributes not only to the 51 martyrs of Bijbehara but to all martyrs of Kashmir.”
“Our martyrs have laid down their precious lives only to get freedom from India, and our struggle will continue till the goal is achieved, come what may,” Khan said as per the statement.
“Khan said that our Martyrs have sacrificed irrespective of party, ideology and region so their sacrifices will not be allowed to go waste,” the statement added.
A statement issued by the DFP said that police prevented its chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah, from moving outside.
“Shah Sahab was scheduled to visit Bijbehara but police placed him under house arrest,” DFP statement said.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by JKLF (R) said that a meeting of the party was Monday organized which was presided over by its chairman, Farooq Ahmad Dar.
“The meeting paid tributes to the martyrs of Bijbehara,” the statement said.
“The meeting also paid tributes to Muzamil Amin Dar, divisional commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba and his Pakistani associate who were killed in an encounter on Sunday at Sopore,” the statement added.
In October, 1993, police and army surrounded the Hazratbal Shrine, claiming that militants were present inside the shrine complex. The siege triggered sporadic public demonstrations across Kashmir valley. On the eighth day of the siege, around 10,000 to 15,000 protestors gathered in the courtyard of the Jamia Masjid, Bijbehara after Friday prayers. The protestors demanding an end to the Hazratbal siege marched through the streets shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
When the procession reached the main road of the town, they were confronted by a large contingent of the BSF. As the procession reached the Gooriwan area, the BSF personal allegedly blocked the street and started firing indiscriminately, killing 43 persons and injuring more than 200 others.