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Scenes from Somyar/Habba Kadal locality, Srinagar, Kashmir


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Susheel Kumar Bhat with wife

Susheel Kumar Bhat with wife


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Photo - Susheel Kumar Bhat with wife Information

Description: Ethnic Cleansing Continues in Kashmir
ISLAMIC TERRORISTS PULL OUT THREE KASHMIRI HINDU PUNDITS FROM A BUS AND SHOOT THEM DEAD ON 15 JUNE 1997



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Eye Witness Account
One Hindu who escaped later narrated what had happened. The bus in which they were travelling was stopped by men in camouflage uniform while it was on its way to Gool from Ramban. This was about 7 km short of Gool. After boarding the bus, the two men asked all Hindu passengers to get off the bus. It was clear to all the passengers that these two men were not security force personnel but Islamic militants. At this point, some Muslim passengers vehemently objected and said that if Hindus were to get off the bus then they too would get off the bus. The terrorists instead of getting angry explained to the other passengers that the Hindus were not going to be harmed and they would just talk to them.
While one militant was arguing with the Muslim passengers, others pulled out six men they thought were Muslims. The narrator was spared because he pretended to be a Muslim and said his name was Ashiq Hussain. The militants accepted his word when the other Muslim passengers confirmed that he was a Muslim. Six men were taken away and the Muslims who protested this were hit on the head with rifle butts. Of the six, two managed to escape - one by jumping off a cliff and the other by running up a hillside.

The four remaining men were made to walk about 20 metres or so towards a nullah. Three were shot dead while the fourth was allowed to go. The person allowed to go was a local Jammu-ite whereas all the three killed were Kashmiri Pundits. The bus driver and conductor were also Hindus but they were asked to stay in the bus. The message was clear: Kashmiri Pundits were the target.

The three men killed were:

Susheel Kumar Bhat, schoolteacher
Ravinder Kabu, Lecturer
Ashok Kumar Raina, principal
All three were married.

Not an Isolated Incident
Hurriyat leaders, who talk about the need of Pundits to return to the Valley, did not resort to any hunger strike or any other form of protest. How can their ostensible secularism be credible? Besides, this is not the first time that Pundit killings have taken place in recent times. Seven Pundits were taken out of their house and shot dead by militants in the Valley only a few weeks ago. More than 250,000 Pundits have fled the Valley and continue to live in miserable conditions in refugee camps in Jammu. In the Doda area, targeted killings of Hindus have become common. Why is it that no Hurriyat or militant leader talks about these flagrant human rights abuses? Why is it that no Kashmiri Mulsim leader talks about Kashmiriyat in the light of these facts? The Hurriyat and the Shoura-e-Jehad know who is behind the latest killing. Everybody in the area knows that the killings are the work of Billu Gujjar a Hizbul Mujahideen man (and a Jama'ati) and the Amanullah Gujjar group. These people have killed several Hindus since 1994. There has been no word from the Hurriyat on this. As long as incidents like these continue and there is no mass movement against them, there is no hope for the unity of our beloved Kashmir - there is no hope for the unified Kashmir so many talked and dreamt about.
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Date: 07.09.2004 04:05
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