‘Submit compliance report in Handwara massacre or consequences will follow’
SRINAGAR: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Wednesday granted final opportunity to J&K government to file compliance report on Handwara massacre. The commission has given the government two weeks to respond.
“The matter is serious, in view of the fact that for the last seven months the concerned authorities are playing hide and seek. The commission would have passed strict orders but at the request of Additional Advocate General appearing for the state, one more chance of two weeks is granted to file the report. If the Additional Deputy Commissioner Kupwara will fail to file the report, consequences will follow.”
The commission was hearing petition no 39/2012/Handwara, filed by Ahsan Untoo, wherein the petitioner states that on 25th January 1990, thousands of people from Ramhal, Vilgam, Rajwar, Kandi, Nagarwari, Qaziabad, Qalamabad, Kulangam and adjoining areas started pouring in at Handwara Chowk to protest the Gawkadal massacre in which 52 persons were killed by CRPF.
At around 11 am, the petition says, a large procession from Ramhal area had reached Handwara chowk via Magam. A TATA- 407 vehicle (No. HVN-7717) of BSF from Waripora Handwara appeared near Police Station Handwara and tried to make its way through the procession, but protestors didn’t allow it to pass. This infuriated the BSF men who opened fire on the unarmed protestors killing 17 persons on the spot and injuring more than 50 others.
“Till this date, no action has been taken against the BSF personnel involved in the gruesome murder of innocent civilians,” the petition states.
A police report, dated 19 December 2016, had stated that “on 25th January 1990, around 25 thousand people gathered at main chowk Handwara who were protesting against the state. In the meantime, a BSF vehicle was passing by, and was set ablaze by the mob. The BSF personnel’s in defense opened fire on the mob in which 11 people died and 39 people received injuries.”
Media reports had stated that more than 20 people died and 75 others were injured on that day. The police report identifies the deceased (Mohammad Amin Masala,Abdul Ahmad Sheikh,Mohammad Shafi Khan,Ghulam Mohammad Beigh,Shafi war, Jabar Khan,Mohammad Sharief Khan,Gull Sheikh,Ghulam Mohammad Wani,Ali Mohammad Yatoo and Ghulam Hassan Mir) and states that during the course of investigation, the BSF vehicle was seized and released in favour of concerned unit. The investigating officer, Inspector Ghulam Mohiudin, closed the case as “untraced” on 6th February, 1993.
However, the court has not accepted the report and investigation has been reopened. An FIR (10/1990) stands registered at Police Station Handwara under sections 307, 151, 53, 427, 336, 449, 448, 436, 435 A.
“Till this date the government has no answer to our queries as to what led to this massacre. Killed persons were not militants but civilians who were protesting peacefully,” said the petitioner, Ahsan Untoo.