Srinagar: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Monday called for a latest status of investigation report regarding the massacre of 27 civilians at Kupwara on 27 January 1994.
SHRC chairperson Justice (Rtd) Bilal Nazki issued notice to the government on a petition filed by rights activist Ahsan Untoo.
On the eve of India’s Republic Day in 1994, a warning was issued by Indian Army troops to people to not observe shutdown on January 26. However, the people did so and observed India’s Republic Day as ‘Black Day’. The next day, in retaliation, troops from 31 Medium Regiment gunned down 27 civilians including three policemen in Kupwara market.
After the massacre, an FIR no.19/1994 under Sections 302, 307 was lodged in Police Station Kupwara. It read, “In a criminal assault, the soldiers of 31 Medium Regiment who were on road opening party duty led by Field Officer S. Bakshi gunned down scores of people in indiscriminate firing in Kupwara market and its vicinity without any provocation.”
A report filed by Inspector General of Police (IGP), CID J&K, said that the inquiry conducted after receiving information from reliable sources revealed that “the troops deployed at Kupwara town under the command of 2nd lieutenant GDS Bakshi indiscriminately fired in bus stand Kupwara without any provocation and justification with criminal intention which resulted in the killing of several persons besides injuries to many others.” He said police filed an FIR no. 19/1994 under Sections 302, 307, 449 RPC regarding the killings.
He added: “During the investigation it is admitted in the report that the massacre was done under the command of GDS Bakshi, lieutenant 31 Medium regiment.”
In the report, as per the petition, police served notice to Bakshi through GOC Northern Command to appear before investigation officer of instant case but the concerned army unit failed to cooperate with the investigating agency.
The petitioner said that despite notice by SHRC and court of JMC Kupwara, the army has not cooperated with the investigating agency.
“It’s crystal clear that during the investigation the concerned officer namely GDS Bakshi and the soldiers under (his) command killed the innocent people without any justification or provocation,” the petitioner said and urged the commission to order “coercive measures” and issue q warrant against the accused persons so that the investigation of the innocent killings comes to conclusion.
The petitioner also sought directions to the government for furnishing bio-data of all those killed and injured in the incident.