Baramulla: A complete shutdown was observed in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on Tuesday to commemorate the anniversary of the Sopore massacre.
On January 6, 1993, nearly 50 civilians were killed in cold blood and about 350 shops set ablaze by paramilitary BSF troopers to avenge the killing of two of their colleagues by militants earlier in the day.
Reports said that all shops and business establishments remained closed even as police and paramilitary CRPF were deployed in large numbers in the town to thwart pro-freedom protests.
Special prayers were also held at many places to remember the slain.
Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, HCJK leader Shabir Shah and president Traders Federation had called for a complete shutdown in Sopore on January 6.
Meanwhile, Democratic Freedom party chairman Shabir Shah was arrested by police at Mirgund when he was on his way to Sopore.
In a statement, a spokesman general secretary Wajahat Qureshi and others were also arrested along with Shah.
However, the spokesman said, party leader Shabir Ahmad Dar managed to reach Sopore and addressed a gathering.
Paying rich tributes to the people killed in the massacre, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the “massacre is a dark testimony of India’s militarization and suppression in Kashmir under the garb of democracy. The sacrifices of our people are priceless assets of freedom struggle,” he said in a statement. Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani thanked people of Sopore for observing complete shutdown on Tuesday. “ A great nation always remembers the sacrifices of its people,” he said.
He also reiterated the call for an independent probe into the massacre.
JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik also paid glowing tributes to the victims of the massacre. The pro-independence group’s Baramulla unit offered special prayers for the victims at Sopore Martyrs Graveyard.
Chairman National Front Nayeem Khan and Hurriyat(M) leaders Javaid Ahmad Mir and Zafar Akbar Bhat also paid tributes to the slain and expressed sympathies with the victim families.