SRINAGAR: After 17 years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir especially the Sikhs of the Valley are still waiting for the justice and urge the state and central government to nab the culprits of Chattisinghpora massacre.
According to the statement, the All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) headed by Jagmohan Singh Raina said that it is unfortunate that the government is showing silence on an issue which was highlighted world over in March 20th, 2000 and has claimed the lives of more than 50 people including 35 innocent Sikhs.
“We shall not rest till the real culprits of this massacre are brought to justice,” said Jagmohan Singh Raina, Chairman APSCC.
He said that in 2000, unidentified gunmen had entered a quiet Kashmiri village of India and massacred 35 men. “The men who were killed belonged to the minority Sikh community and their murder shocked the entire Kashmir – a region wrecked by separatism violence for more than a decade,” he said.
Raina said that Central Government has blamed these murders on separatist militants and acclaims of killing at least five of the men who carried out the brutal massacre. “But so far central government has yet to present hard evidence backing up its claims,” he said.
He said that but the questions still remain unanswered. “According to the police, nearly 20 unidentified gunmen carried out the massacre at Chattisinghpora and so far only five have been caught and killed which was later on proved wrong. The killed persons which the police claimed to be ‘militants’ were actually innocent residents of Brackpura proved by judicial enquiry of Justice Pandan Commission,” he added.
Raina said that also their bodies were burnt and hastily buried in a nearby village. “The drama created by the officials was a fake and so melodramatic that on their behalf they said that the militants were caught in a burning house during a gun battle and their bodies were charred beyond recognition,” he added.
“We in Kashmir are questioning whether the men killed on that day were actually involved in the Chattisinghpora killings or not. So far the police have failed to produce any hard evidence that they were involved — leaving many in Kashmir to question that whether the security officials in the troubled region really knew who killed the men of Chattisinghpora,” APSCC chairman said.
He said that so far the committee made by the Government to find out the culprits, has failed to solve the mystery of killings of Sikhs in Kashmir. “Now, we urge the State and Central government to go for fresh probe in the killings of Sikhs. If they failed to do so then, we will consider it as a huge injustice with the Sikhs of Kashmir,” he demanded.
He said that during the time of the massacre the President of USA – Bill Clinton also expressed his grief on the said incident and urged the Government of India to nab the culprits, which he later on also mentioned in his book and termed the incident as most unfortunate incident of his life. “After the killing of innocent Sikhs, the then CM – Dr Farooq Abdullah publicly assured that the culprits will be soon arrested as they were having some clue and assured of all the assistance needed by the Sikhs of Kashmir. But till date the promises made by the former CM have proven to be hoax,” he said.
On this fateful day, All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee, even after two decade, urge the government to conduct fresh probe in the killings so that culprits are nabbed and justice is provided to the families of the victims.
Raina urged the government to go for fresh probe into the incident and allow the Justice Pandan Commission to further investigate the incident as Brackpura and Chattisinghpora case are interlinked.
He also urged the people of state to be united for communal harmony and solve their long pending issues.
List of Sikhs killed in the Chithi Singhpora Massacre
Outside the Village Gurdwara
1. Charan Singh
2. Jagir Singh
3. Nasib Singh Nambardar
4. Didar Singh
5. Sartaj Singh
6. Ujjal Singh
7. Darbara Singh
8. Rajdeep Singh
9. Kingpal Singh
10. Sukha Singh
11. Sarwan Singh
12. Jagdish Singh
13. Gurmit Singh
14. Kulbir Singh
15. Raghunath Singh
16. Ravinder Singh
17. Faqir Singh
18. Niranjan Singh(60)
19. Ranjit Singh (40)
20. Rattan Singh (35)
21. Karnail Singh(30)
22. Gurbax Singh (35)
23. Uttam Singh (30)
24. Gurdip Singh (22)
25. Ajit Singh (17)
26. Devinder Singh(17)
27. Surjit Singh (17)
28. Ravinder Singh(25)
29. Mangal Singh (30)
30. Joginder Singh (30)
31. Sukhpal Singh(40)
32. Rachpal Singh(29)
33. Ranbir Singh (27)
34. Gurmukh Singh(35)
35. Jang BahadurSingh (30)
One Injured: Nanak Singh
The massacre coincided with the visit of United States president Bill Clinton to India. In an introduction to a book written by Madeleine Albright titled The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God,and World Affairs, she accused “Hindu militants” of perpetrating the act. Hindu organisations protested the statement, andultimately the publishers, Harper Collins, edited the statement out offuture editions of the book. They acknowledged the error in an email to the Times of India:
Page xi of the Mighty and the Almightycontains a reference to Hindu militants that will be deleted in subsequent printings, both in America and in international editions. This error was due toa failure in the fact-checking process.
Clinton’s office never clarified thestatement.
In the hours immediately after the massacre in March2000, the US condemned the killings but refused to accept the Indian government’s contention that it was the work of Pakistani Islamist groups. Clinton explicitly condemned the massacre by “unknown groups,” and re-emphasised that point in his2004 autobiography, MyLife.
Similarly, in his 2004 book Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb, Clinton aide Strobe Talbott confirms Clinton’s misgivings aboutthe massacre, pointing out that “he [Clinton] did not endorse the accusation that Pakistan was behind the violence since the US had no independent confirmation.”
India involved in massacre
Almost all the militant groups of Kashmir, including their political front APHC, and Sikh organisations world-wide have accused the Indian intelligence agencies and counter-insurgency force for the killings of innocent Sikhs, said the IHRO , adding that it is not without strings that the J & K state is headed by two intelligence men as Governor (former RAW chief) and DGP. http://www.ihro.in/kashmir.php