ANANTNAG: Sikhs have demanded a fresh probe into the Chattisinghpora massacre, in which 34 members of the community were killed by unidentified uniformed gunmen on 20 March 2000, ahead of then US present Bill Clinton’s visit to India.
On the 16th anniversary of the massacre, a remembrance meet was held at the local Gurduwara in Chattisinghpora where men, women and children offered prayers for the victims.
Many pro-freedom leaders and MLA Langate Er Abdul Rashid also attended the meet.
On 20 March 2000, unknown gunmen barged into the houses in Chattisinghpora and ordered all the Sikh men and boys to assemble at the village Gurdwara before firing at them, killing 34.
The only survivor of the massacre was Nanak Singh Aulakh, who recounted the events to reporters.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajinder Singh, who heads the local Gurduwara, demanded an impartial probe into the massacre.
“Pathribal killings happened a few days after Chattisinghpora massacre. Pathribal fake encounter victims were held responsible for the killing of Sikhs, which later proved to be a big lie. Why have the governments not probed this massacre,” Rajinder said.
“This day is a black day for us and we won’t forget our loved ones who were brutally murdered,” he added.
He also demanded the status of a minority community for the Sikhs in the Valley.
“Sikhs being in minority have suffered a lot during the past twenty five years. We have been demanding minority status all these years but nobody has paid heed,” Rajinder said.
Hurriyat (G) general secretary Ghulam Nabi Sumji, addressing the people, demanded an impartial probe into the massacre.
“We have come here to share your pain. We demand an impartial probe into the massacre and people involved in the brutal massacre should be exposed,” Sumji told the gathering.
MLA Langate Er Rashid accused ‘agencies’ of sabotaging the probe into the massacre of Sikhs.
“After the massacre was carried out, the agencies murdered five innocent people in Pathribal and dubbed them as militants responsible the Sikh killings. Later all their cooked up stories were exposed,” Rashid said.
He said that the false promises made by successive governments about a probe into the massacre were an indication that they wanted to cover up the Chattisinghpora carnage. He also demanded the minority status for the Sikhs of the state. (See P3)