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Gaw Kadal massacre

Indian occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmir valley in particular has been in the eye of the storm since 1989 when a revolt against India’s illegal occupation was initiated in the shape of ongoing resistance movement. Human rights violations, fake encounters, killings, enforced disappearances, massacres; rape and torture remains to be handy tools for the occupation forces to be used as a weapon of war to muzzle every dissenting voice in the region. And the most devastating of all is that the occupation forces, whose number has swelled to over seven hundred thousand, are enjoying complete impunity and this culture of impunity has invariably led to an alarming increase in extra judicial killings, mass murder of civilians and blatant use of brute force by the forces of occupation in Indian held territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

To name a few, Gawakadal massacre, Sopore, Bijbehara, Wandhama, Chitisinghpura massacres are amongst dozens of deadly massacres that have taken place in the troubled region over the past several years. Today is the 29th anniversary of Gaw Kadal Massacre in which 52 people were killed and many injured, when the occupation forces opened fire upon on people who were protesting against the harassment by them during nocturnal house-to-house raids in downtown area. The incident had shaken the entire Valley triggering widespread anger against the then Governor Jagmohan who is believed to be the master mind behind the mass migration of Kashmiri pundits. It is worth to mention here that the massacre happened just a day after the Government of India appointed Jagmohan as the Governor for a second time in a bid to control the mass protests by Kashmiris.

According to independent reports the Indian paramilitary forces [CRPF forces] were believed to have killed over 300 protesters in the aftermath of this deadly incident but no action was taken against the CRPF forces’ officials who were directly responsible for the massacre. And regrettably no investigation whatsoever was ordered to bring perpetrators to justice. Later on the police case was closed and those involved in the massacre were declared untraceable. No challan has been produced against any person in court. It is not the only incident in which perpetrators of the horrific crime were given a safe passage there are hundreds of such heart-wrenching incidents of violence wherein innocent civilians were killed ruthlessly and no action was sought against the armed forces. On one hand Indian forces were enjoying impunity under a regime of black laws enacted in the state while on the other hand India’s perpetual denial to grant access to international human rights watchdogs in the region has made a grim situation worse for the Kashmiris.

The worsening situation in the region merits special attention of international human rights organizations as well as the influential governments across the globe. Since Indian forces are involved in war-crimes in Kashmir it is time that the government of India must be hold accountable for its crimes and systematic violence against Kashmiris. The government of India should be pressurized to hold independent investigation into the every incident of mass killing, forced disappearances and unnamed mass graves spreading in length and breadth of Kashmir. Exemplary punishments should be given to the culprits involved in serious crimes. If world community fails to hold India accountable for its crimes in Kashmir the spine-chilling tragedies like Gaw-Kadal will continue to occur in the land of saints once known for its serene beauty.

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