Kashmir Pandit Body in the Valley Demands Justice for Wandhama Massacre
SRINAGAR: The Kashmiri Pandit organisation representing the small community that has stayed back in Kashmir despite the mass exodus has demanded action against those responsible for the Wandhama, Ganderbal massacre on January 25, 1998. On this date gunmen killed 21 Kashmiri pandits in cold blood and although an FIR was registered, no action to bring justice to the victims has been taken.
President of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti Sanjay K.Tickoo said that it took him and his organisation ten long years to link the massacre of the Kashmiri Pandits to the Handwara massacre that had taken place on the same day January 25 in 1990. In the last large crowds condemning the Gawkadal killings---these had taken place on January 21, 1990 where at least 50 persons were felled by the Central Reserve Police Force---were fired upon by the Border Security Force and an approximate 23 plus were killed.
Tickoo said in the statement, “ It took KPSS ten long years to understand why the perpetrators choose 25th of January, 1998 to take revenge of Handwara Massacre from the Indian Establishment by killing 23 Kashmiri Pandits in Wandhama. Though the victims of Wandhama Massacre were in no way involved in any sort of violence against the Majority Community but they paid price for doing of Indian Establishment in Handwara.”
He went on to underline the injustice that has marked the unending cycle of violence in Kashmir stating: “It is an irony that every case pertaining to the Kashmiri Pandit Killing in Kashmir is closed for want of evidences and the persons till date remained “Un-identified” or the investigation was deliberately done so weakly or faulty that the culprit(s) was / were set free for the lack of evidences.
According to Government Figures there are nearly 110 FIRs filed in different Police Stations for the killing of 219 Kashmiri Pandits since 1989, but till date these the killers of this miniscule community are not brought to justice. But as per the survey and detailed verification of the incidents nearly 670 Kashmiri Pandits were killed by these gunmen and out of which nearly 452 were killed till November, 1990 only which forced a fear ridden minuscule community to leave the Kashmir to save lives.
Neither any Government Authority or any Civil Society Forum of Kashmir Valley took up the issue seriously so that the perpetrators could be booked and brought to justice; but on the contrary, these perpetrators are having the patronage of the leaders from main-stream or separatist camps and do politics on the return of Kashmiri Pandits.
KPSS appeal, international bodies who take part in resolving Kashmir issues should make it a point before talking about Kashmiriyat and other like terms, Kashmiri Leadership should be asked to take a stand and bring perpetrators of the Kashmiri Pandit Community, that forced a miniscule community to flee from their homeland, to justice, as it is a well known saying that “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied”.