Says credible investigation lacking in Nadimarg Massacre
Srinagar: Demanding credible investigation of all the killings perpetrated by “state and or non-state actors” in last twenty years, the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) Thursday said that the investigations into the 2003 Nadimarg massacre were not credible.
In the intervening night of 23 and 24 March 2003, 24 Pandits, including 12 women and two children, were shot dead in Nadimarg, Shopian by unidentified gunmen.
The killed Pandits had chosen not to migrate in 1990, but the massacre forced the rest of the surviving Kashmiri Pandits of the village to migrate from the valley.
A JKCCS statement said that Nadimarg massacre was “one of many massacres, such as Chattisinghpora, where minorities were attacked, the State indicted Pakistani and local militants, but the truth behind the massacres never came out.”
In Chattisinghpora the two Pakistani nationals were acquitted. In Nadimarg it appears only one person faces trial and according to court records there is not enough evidence against the accused, which may lead to another acquittal, the statement said.
It added that according to eyewitnesses more than 10 unknown armed gunmen, dressed in army uniform and carrying sophisticated weapons, had entered the Kashmiri Pandit houses in Nadimarg and ordered all the members to come out for crackdown. Before entering the houses, the unknown gunmen had overpowered the police guards stationed for protection of the community. Then the gunmen shot dead 24 people near a police guardroom.
A month after the massacre, Border Security Force (BSF) claimed that it had gunned down three militants in an encounter in Kulgam district whom the BSF alleged were responsible for the massacre of Kashmiri Pandits in Nadimarg. The BSF claimed that it had recovered incriminating documents from the dead militants connecting to the Nadimarg. The police produced the charge-sheet before District and Sessions Court in Pulwama on 04.12.2003 and accused Zia Mustafa (a militant from Pakistan administered Kashmir), three dead militants (killed in Kulgam) and 7 policemen (who were on guard duty that night) as the culprits. Zia Mustafa later pleaded in court that at the time of the incident, he had already been under detention by Special Operations Group at Anantnag.
The court later discharged the accused police personal who were charged under section 302 (murder) however the Court charged them under the Police Act – accusing the police men of being guilty of cowardice.
The case has been under trial in Sessions and District Court in Shopian for fourteen years now. There has been no justice done to the victims of the massacre, whose families have migrated from the valley following the massacre.