Justice still eludes in Hawal massacre

It has been twenty seven years since more than fifty people were shot in a massacre that came to be called the Hawal Massacre and justice still is nowhere to be seen. Valley’s well know human right activist Mohammad Ahsan Mantoo told Kashmir Vision over phone that he will continue to fight for victims of Hawal massacre.

“I am not any big wig. But I will continue to fight the cases of the victims whose innocent loved ones have been murdered by the government forces,” he said. He said that he had also approached the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and IGP Kashmir. “But unfortunately they had not given any exgratia relief to the victim’s families,” Ahsan said.

When asked about the Hawal massacre scene, he said: “It was 21 May 1990, paramilitary forces opened indiscriminate firing on the funeral procession of Kashmir’s prominent religious and political leader, Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq at Hawal in Shaher-e-Khaas ’’ After Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq breathed his last at SKIMS, people from different areas of Kashmir rushed there to have his last glimpse.

Within hours, thousands of people gathered at SKIMS and carried his body in a massive procession towards Mirwaiz Manzil at Rajouri Kadal. “When the procession reached Hawal, the paramilitary personnel stationed in a camp at Islamia College mounted machine guns on the wall of the college and pointed them towards the peaceful procession,” Ahsan added.

Investigating officer of Jammu Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Masood Ahmed Beigh in his interim report on February 16 this year had said that 15 Paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel including three officers of 69 Battalion were held responsible for indiscriminate firing on the mourners participating in the funeral procession of Late Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq near Islamia College.

“But unfortunately no one among them have been punished by the authorities so far,” Ahsan said adding we have the record of 53 mourners who were put to death by CRPF men when they fired indiscriminately on the funeral procession. Shortly after the massacre, an FIR vide number 35/1990 was lodged at Police Station Nowhatta.

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