SRINAGAR: The joint resistance leadership has called for a complete shutdown in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on January 6 (Saturday) to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sopore massacre.
In a statement, the JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik called for a strike in the town to commemorate the massacre in which 57 civilians were killed in firing by Border Security Force (BSF) men on January 6, 1993.
“To mark that day, people of Sopore are appealed to observe complete shutdown on January 6,” the JRL said and appealed to the international community to investigate the massacre and other similar incidents in Kashmir and use their influence and identify the personnel belonging to Indian forces involved in the “war crimes”.
Remembering the ill-fated day, the JRL said, “The great nations never forget their martyrs and they continue their struggle for which these martyrs have sacrificed their precious lives.”
The leadership appealed to all “conscious” people to assemble after Zuhr prayers at the Jamia Masjid, Sopore, where the JRL would hold a programme.
The leaders also expressed sympathy with the hundreds of families who lost their loved ones or whose houses and shops were burnt to ashes on that fateful day.
“Humanity may have never witnessed such a heinous crime when a toddler snatched from the lap of his mother was thrown into the flames, and when the hapless mother protested, she too was silenced forever by the bullets. Whole town was in rubble, houses and shops were turned into ashes, and horror stories and ghastly tales were all around which send shivers down a person’s spine.
“The madness of these killers didn’t stop there; they fired upon and burned a bus en-route to Bandipora, killing and burning alive all its passengers. This dance of death, with 55 innocent killings, and 120 houses and 350 shops gutted, was a unique New Year’s gift from the masters of traitors,” the JRL added.
Geelani, the Mirwaiz and Malik said Sopore has the distinction of being politically mature and emotionally affiliated with the freedom movement, for which it has been a thorn in the eyes of the “stooges”. “This doomsday of January 6 was just an act of revenge to subjugate and suppress the population,” they said.
“Conscious and mature nations can never afford to forget their heroes,” the JRL said. “The trigger-happy forces hardly differentiate over party affiliations and they don’t spare anybody as Kashmiri Muslims’ identity is enough to legalise such lethal punishment.”