Kupwara shuts down on massacre anniversary

Kupwara shuts down on massacre anniversary
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MLA Rasheed detained, says army confessing guilt by objecting to investigation

Mushtaq Ahma
Kupwara: A complete shutdown was observed in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of 1994 massacre in which forces killed 27 civilians in indiscriminate unprovoked firing.
Shops, business establishments, tuition centres and petrol pumps remained closed in the town, while as private and public transport plied normally on the roads.
Several groups of people reached the Regipora graveyard in the morning where they offered special prayers and paid tributes to the martyrs of January 1994 massacre when people had defied an officer’s diktat to not observe shutdown on January 26.
On next day (Jan 27, 1994) the officer in revenge had ordered indiscriminate firing near the main bus stand killing 27 people and injuring dozens others.
An FIR 19/1994, under section 302, 307 was registered in police station Kupwara against the army but justice remained elusive.
On Saturday afternoon MLA Langate Engineer Rashid along with his activists reached Kupwara to offer prayers and tributes to martyrs.
Amid restrictions dozens joined a march led by the Rasheed seeking justice for the victim families.
Protestors were chanting slogans seeking justice for the families of martyrs, removal of AFSPA and end to state terrorism.
Police and CRPF stopped Rasheed from reaching the martyrs graveyard by arresting him along with his colleagues near Branwari.
Talking to media before his arrest Rasheed said that by citing AFSPA and objecting to the investigation of Kupwara massacre, army “is actually confessing the guilt” and the “world community must realize how Kashmiris are being denied justice by taking the shelter of draconian, undemocratic and uncivilized laws like AFSPA”.
Rasheed asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to either apologize for the genocide of Kashmiris that took place since 1989 or allow international organizations to investigate the truth.