Khanyar Massacre: May 8, 1991: Human Rights body releases report

Last Updated: May 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Srinagar: Chairman, International Forum for Justice and Human Rights Muhammad Ahsan Untoo Tuesday released a report regarding Khanyar Massacre of 1991 in which over 22 innocent civilians were killed by armed forces.

The report has quoted various witnesses and it carries the names and addressed of at least 17 slain persons gunned down by armed forces. Some of the slain persons mentioned in the report included Fatima Begum of Rozbal Khanyar, Muhammad Shafi of Khwaja Yarbal,  one year old kid Ahmed from Yarbal Saida Kadal, Muhammad Maqbool Ganaie of Chottabazar and Muhammad Latif Qadri of Khanyar.

Abdul Majeed Sofi, a witness has been quoted as having said that: “when a lady was fired and her clothes went off leaving her naked. My father approached near her dead body to cover her, he too was shot dead by troopers.”

Muhammad Ahsan Untoo told CNS that he had filed the petition on 28 February 2013 before the SHRC and the Division Bench of the Commission presided by Mr Javaid Kawoosa and Mr Rafiq Fida had sought report from Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir.

Petition:  “About five in the evening on May 8, 1991, when a peaceful procession carrying the dead bodies of persons killed in Dachigam incident and those killed at Saidakadal locality were being brought for burial, reciting verses of Holy Quaran, the armed forced deployed at Khanyar Srinagar area of Kashmir Valley started indiscriminate firing on the mourners and killed about 20 unarmed civilians and injured more than 52 persons.”

“In this incident one infant aged two years and his father were also killed. Also four persons of the same family got killed whose dead bodies were in the mosque of the locality till late night. Number of dead persons could not be identified and were buried later after great difficulty. The authorities didn’t allow anyone to perform the religious ceremonies.”

“A team of local and foreign media men tried their best to visit the spot but were not allowed by the Forces and the Government. However, some media men already accompanying the mourners procession while performing their professional duties have also witnessed the occurrence and agreed that no provocation was offered by anyone from the mourners but armed forces indiscriminately fired and killed scores of people.”

“After sometime when the firing stopped, people tried to move to their respective places, a group of Para-military forces coming from Nowhatta started firing again on the passers-by due to which some more persons got killed and number of others injured.”

“This again is clear evidence that innocent people are being killed in Kashmir. In this incident five ladies namely Fatima of Khanyar, Shamima of Rainawari, Samina of Rainawari, Dedri of Rajourikadal, Khati of Seshagari Mohalla Khanyar and an infant of two years got killed.”

“Some official was nominated by the Government to look into the massacre, however, people rejected the appointment. They apprehended that the official was to clear the guilty personnel. They demanded enquiry by a judge of High Court, sitting or retired. Government didn’t agree for obvious reasons of exposure. The people of Kashmir therefore choose to appoint a public enquiry commission headed by a retired judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Justice MB Farooq was kind enough to extend his services,” the petition reads.

The report released by Untoo has been submitted by Jammu Kashmir Home Department before the State Human Rights Commission after a gap of five years.

Government in it’s reply has said that the investigation with regard to killing of civilians at Khanyar case was closed and challaned. It said that the file was submitted to Home Department for accord of government sanction, where from the case file was returned with some observations/queries.