Kupwara: Twenty four years after 27 people were killed by armymen in Kupwara for observing a shutdown on India’s republic day people are still waiting for justice.
Like most of Kashmir, the residents of Kupwara has observed a shutdown on January 26, 1994.
However, it was against the orders of an army officer from Punjab regiment who had threatened people against observing strike and had asked them to participate in the republic day function in nearby army unit.
On next day when the town resumed its business, the officer S Bakshi reached the market along with his heavily armed personnel and asked people why they had not followed his order.
Witnesses said that shopkeepers tried to reason with him but lieutenant Bakshi ordered troops to fire, after which soldiers fired indiscriminately from different sides in the bus stand and killed about 20 people on spot and injured dozens others.
Seven more people succumbed to their injuries later.
Eyewitnesses said a police party from Kupwara police station reached the spot but couldn’t stop the roaring guns.
The injured were crying for help amid the scattered bodies while other people took shelter in spots they could find. Only after the army men left, the police along with locals removed the injured to hospitals.
An FIR number 19/94, under section 302, 307, 149 RPC, was registered by the police against the army, but army refused to cooperate in the investigation. Sources said that police did not follow up properly and a court dismissed the case in 1997.