Kupwara traders call for shutdown on massacre anniversary

Kupwara traders call for shutdown on massacre anniversary
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Kupwara: The traders federation of Kupwara has called for a shutdown on Sunday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Jan 27, 1994 massacre in which 27 people were killed in the town by government forces.
President Traders Federation Kupwara, Hafizullah said that they have called for a shutdown in the town and people will march to graveyards to offer special prayers for the martyrs.
On Jan 26, 1994 people in the town had observed a shutdown, like the rest of Kashmir, to observe the Indian republic day as a black day. However, it irked an army officer of Panjab regiment, Lieutenant S Bakshi, who had threatened the town residents to desist from the shutdown.
On next day when the town resumed its business, the officer 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.