BIJBEHARA: Scholars, academia and human right activists Wednesday urged people not to forget heroes and expect no mercy from the oppressing powers in their struggle for freedom. This was stated here in a commiseration functionWednesday held for victims of the October 22, 1993, Bijbehara massacre.
BSF troopers had gunned down 43 civilians when they were peacefully protesting against the siege of the Hazratbnal shrine on the day. The commemoration function was organised by the Bijbehara Citizen Council (BCC), a local group comprising mostly of youth. At least 70 youth donated blood on the remembrance meet as a tribute to the victims of the massacre.
In the seminar titled ‘1993 massacre a bloody day in the history of Kashmir’ organised after the blood donation camp people from different walks of life including students, lawyers, human right activists and academicians participated in it.
Speaking on the occasion, chairperson, Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), Parveena Ahanger, urged people to remain firm in their struggle for freedom. “India is trying to muzzle our voice by using all the barbaric methods. Besides killing over one lakh Kashmiris thousands of youth were subjected to enforced custodial disappearance. But India’s barbaric acts should not break our resolve. We need to be firm on our cause that is freedom from occupation of India,” Ahangar told the participants.
Writer and academia, Farukh Faheem in his address to the seminar asked the participants not to forget the people who have sacrificed their lives for the cause.
“Whenever the people rise against oppression in any nation they are being killed, brutalised and maimed. But history stands witness to the fact that the nation, which forgets its heroes had to face the defeat. So our success lies in remembering the people who laid down their lives for the freedom,” Faheem said.
Research scholar and member of the banned Kashmir University Students Union (KUSU), Aala Fazili, said that people of any nation fighting against the oppressors have be ready to face the brutalities.
“When we are fighting against the oppressor we should not expect sweets in return but have to be ready to face atrocities. Our stand has to be clear. There should be clarity in our stand. Our concept about the occupation, resistance and freedom have to be clear and only then we can reap the benefits of our struggle,” Fazili said.
Religious scholar, Zia-ul-Haq, said that the blood donation camp and a seminar was organised as a tribute to the 43 civilians who were massacred on this day for their sin of demanding end to the siege of a religious place.
“The wounds inflicted on us 21 years ago are still fresh in our minds. By organising the remembrance meet we want to convey it to the killers that we have not forgotten our martyrs nor will forget them until the mission for which they lost their lives is accomplished,” Zia said.
Recalling the massacre, Zia said, “It was Friday and procession was taken out from this place after the prayers. As per the plan they we were allowed to reach the main market. No attempt was made by police or other forces to stop us from reaching near highway. And on reaching near Arwani crossing the BSF men aimed their guns at the unarmed and peaceful protesters killing 43 on spot and wounding over 150.”
Hinting at the recently released Bollywood movie ‘Haider’, programme coordinator of JK Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) Khurram Parvez said that some people are trying to misrepresent the Kashmir tragedy through movies.
“Some people here are trying to reduce our sacred movement to a revenge theory but we want to tell those people that the freedom movement is older than India itself.”
He said that Kashmiris are fighting against the Indian occupation since 1931 and there is no question of revenge. “Those attempting to give impression that our movement is all about revenge should go through the pages of history,” Khurram said.