Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has directed Additional Advocate General MM Khan and Chief Prosecuting Officer (CPO) Mumtaz Saleem to file compliance report as to why CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has not filed updated status of investigation report in the case of 1993 Sopore Massacre.
The commission directed them to file the report within two weeks.
The CBI was earlier directed to file updated status of investigation report by March 12, 2018, but the investigation agency did not produce anything before the commission by that date.
Today, the court directed the state counsel and the prosecuting officer to ask CBI to explain why it did not submit the investigation report.
In the previous investigation report submitted by CBI, it confirmed the identity of 33 civilians out of the 51 killed in 1993 in Sopore by soldiers of the BSF (Border Security Force). The CBI report stated, “The list of 51 victims submitted by the complainant was cross checked with the records collected by the CBI during investigation and it was found that out of the 51 persons, names of only 33 figure in the investigation record.”
Human rights activist Ahsan Untoo had produced before the SHRC a list of 51 civilians allegedly killed by the BSF in what has come to be known as the Sopore Massacre. In his petition he stated that 51 civilians were killed in cold blood by BSF soldiers on January 6, 1993. Untoo sought from the SHRC orders for a thorough investigation into the matter so that the guilty are brought to justice.
The CBI was tasked with the investigation in January 1993 but even after 25 years its investigation is yet to be completed.
On January 6, 1993, BSF soldiers allegedly set ablaze the main market in Sopore and indiscriminately fired upon civilians, killing 57 persons according to media reports at the time. The soldiers opened fire after a militant snatched a rifle from a BSF trooper.
It is also alleged that BSF soldiers had dragged out a state roadways (SRTC) bus driver out of his vehicle and fired bullets into the bodies of the passengers, killing 20 of them on the spot. Then the BSF soldiers allegedly sprinkled kerosene oil, gun powder and petrol on the nearby buildings and torched them.
After the shocking incident, the Indian government set up a one-man commission of inquiry on January 30, 1993, under Justice Amarjeet Choudhary. The commission visited Jammu and Kashmir only once between January 1993 and April 1994.