II: Chapter 16
evidenced by the Sangrampora carnage it can be justifiably asserted that
the naked dance of death and destruction unleashed against the Kashmiri
Pandits continues unabated and with impunity. The tall but unbelievable
claims made by rulers wielding political power and authority that terrorism
ravaging the state has been vanquished and stamped out stand debunked and
put to rest. The occurrences of daily encounters and increasing number
of killings deflate the sails of propaganda and disinformation spree floated
and hyped by the Chief Minister and his charts. The valley is yet to be
retrieved from the brutal clutches of the Muslim terrorists and Doda continues
to be reeling under the heels of gun-totting desperadoes and the infiltration
of waves of trained and armed terrorists has been stepped up in the border
districts of Poonch and Rajouri, thus lending new pitch and volume to the
slaughter of seven Kashmiri pandits inhabiting a tiny but distant hamlet
of Sangrampora in the District Badgam by the treacherous Kashmiri-speaking
terrorists gone crazy in the chase of Islamic goals sent shock waves into
the Kashmiri Pandit refugees in distress and Diaspora. The crime that they
had committed was that they had not joined the ranks of fleeing refugees
to escape the Muslim brutalities and had chosen to stay back in a hostile
society firmly glued to the Islamic agenda. Yet they were put to a grisly
carnage which had frightening range and contours. The Kashmiri Bandits
in the beginnings of insurgence and mayhem were tortured and killed in
ones and two throughout the valley thereby cleansing Kashmir of infidels.
But the Sangrampora massacre was a holocaust that was perpetrated on the
Kashmiri Pandits in general and beleaguered Pandits in the valley in particular.
and inhuman massacre did not earn full-throated condemnation on part of
politicals who act as hostages to their Muslims majoritarian identity based
on the cocoon of insularity and deliberately refuse to perceive beyond
the eyelids of its set parameters. Under the motivations of Islamic fundamentalism
the mortgaged mentality of the Muslim politicals assumes extremely hostile
and inimical postures unto the religious minorities which is manifested
through a relentless campaign of calumny and vilification against them.
Tolerance as an accepted canon has ceased to be and secularism necessitating
even-handed treatment of diverse religious groups is rejected thereby stabilizing
the parochial politics with communal under-pinnings. Shackled by such thinking
and attitudinal changes, clitches and compulsive words of sympathy were
doled out with some insincere references to composite culture and beaten-out
secularism. There are Kashmiri pandits perhaps a siezable section among
them who firmly hold on to the view that they cannot and should not expect
a fair deal from the political dispensation that has come to power. The
same dispensation betrayed them at the critical juncture of 1989- exodus
and the same formation is at the helm when the Sangrampora massacre was
perpetrated with all its brutal savagery. The prejudices, outmoded notions
and malafide pulls remain and have not been dispensed with for smoothening
of relations between the majority and the minority for the achievement
of desirable goals of economic development and strengthening of democratic
claims of normalcy, the Sangrampora massacre establishes beyond any shadow
of doubt that the terrorists have not been marginalised and are still calling
shots and Kashmiri pandits who Still dot some localities and hamlets are
not let off the hook and remain targets for killing besides canards and
disinformation to meet the strategic goals and political imperatives. The
savagery that was let loose on the. beleaguered Pandits incontrovertibly
lays bare the Muslim motivations of liquidating and ethnically cleansing
the left-over elements of the religious enemies who have a saga of persecution
and harassment to relate. In fact, the Sangrampora massacre in the culmination
of the entire process of exclusion, decimation and ethnic cleansing which
had started way back in 1947 under the dubious cover of socio-economic
reconstruction and regeneration. The security of Kashmiri Pandits in the
valley in the totally Islamised social, political and economic order cannot
he ensured and guaranteed as the very presence of Pandits is deemed to
dismantle the Islamic state that is under the shaping out processes.
The hopless Pandits, budding and old, were brutally murdered to disperse the message
that Kashmir as a Muslim state purged of the vestiges of Hindu Kafirs remains
paramount and cannot be compromised with. The trumpet that was beaten about
the return of natives was silenced through the gory and macabre killing
of persons, who had been left to their fate and fortune and were not provided
a protective shield, a fool proof security cover, even-though perpetually
vulnerable. The desire on part of Pandits to return to their natural abode
in Kashmir was smothered and the same had suddenly burgeoned with a government
coming to saddle.
With the perpetration
of death and destruction on the defenceless targets Muslim killers of the
indigenous brand which fact is testified to by the survivors of the victims
made good their escape into safe havens and have eluded arrest so far.
It can be stated without fear or dither that they succeed to escape the
noose only with the connivance and tacit support of the perfidious elements
that infest various levels of governance. The staying back Pandits after
the mass stampeding of their co-religionists had tied their lot with the
Muslim majority, submitted to its tyranny and accepted the status of servility
in the hope that they would be spared from the atrocity of being hounded
Out and thus earn a reprieve. Little did they know that the Muslim terrorists
with tremendous support from Pakistan and emboldened by the insensitivities
and visceral hatred of the state government unto them were hatching conspiracies
and executing game-plans to drown them in a bloody holocaust through which
they proved their high potential to strike at will and exposed the falseness
of the much-touted claims of Farooq Abdullah that normalcy though elusive
had already dawned and what was needed was to reinforce it zenith the return
of the exiled Pandits. But objectively normalcy is a self-created illusion
on part of rulers who refuse to realise that the ground realities are in
conflict with their illusory perceptions. The nagging worry obsessing the
anti-insurgency operators and their command structures is that war waged
by Kashmiri Muslims has vet to exhibit convincing symptoms of diminishing
and vanishmg levels of abatement.
massacre has a telling message that the exiled Pandits who are accused
as the betrayers of the terrorist movement cannot return to their land
of genesis even after the Muslims out of fatigue and frustration decide
upon normalizing conditions and investing them with a look of stability.
It also puts the fate of beleaguered Pandits in the valley in doldrums
bringing it amply home to them that they can be gobbled up any time by
the Muslim hounds to satiate their ravenous thirst for the much-coveted
blood of Kafirs and cannot save their bacon. The two-pronged strategy that
was achieved through the gory massacre of Sangrampora was to stone-wall
the return of natives and obliterate the last traces of Hindus in Kashmir.
the entire gamut of the problem in depth and preparing a transparent blue-print
some futile and inconsequential shrill yells about the return of displaced
Pandits proved a catalyst in the Sangrampora massacre which re-affirmed
the implaccable hatred of revival of socio-cultural milieu informed of
catholicity and resurrection of inter and intra-community trust and goodwill.
The very idea of transplantation of Kashmiri Pandits back into their original
ambience is deemed as inimical to the Muslim separatist instinct and separatist
movement in the larger objective context. As part of a long range strategy
the Sangrampora carnage setting new records of mass massacre was enacted
not only to reverse but abort the measures though cosmetic and half-hearted
to restore them in their habitations which Muslims have wiped out and decimated.
The discourse and agenda-setting Muslim think tank destructive in approach
and premis has amply made it known that Bud Shah in any case will neither
be re-enacted nor resurrected to fritter away the unprecedented gains to
Islam in Kashmir with the cleansing of Hindus and their heretical practices.
The deep scars and concussion implanted on the ideological and cultural
personality of Kashmir are valued as Islamic gains which at all costs have
to be consolidated and entrenched.
More than most
the harrowing blood-bath at the distant outpost of Sangrampora has blasted
the dubious myth of Muslim tolerance as a vital ingredient of hazily defined
Kashmiriyat which has been trumpeted and glorified by Balraj Puri and men
of his ilk. It has equally deflated the balloon of a sham that Jagmohan
as the State Governor conspired the migration of Kashmiri Pandits and armed
conflict, internal strife, violation of human rights and other hateful
forms of violence were not the keel factors in inspiring their mass exodus.
What transports Balraj Puri into rapturous joy is that the All Parties
Hurriyat Conference has also condemned the killings at Sangrampora ignoring
that the said-organisation as a conglomerate of despicable, murderous and
fanatic groups with communal fangs has initiated the doom and destruction
of Kashmir in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular through export
of Muslim youth to the camps in POK, Afghanistan and Iran for arms training
On 25th March,
the Kashmiri Pandits in utter shock and anguish converged on the Rajendra
Park in Jammu and were vociferous in condemning the mass massacre of innocent
Hindus who were presented to the media inside and outside the country as
models of defiance. A procession of twenty-five thousand Kashmiri Pandits
protesting against the wanton killings passed peacefully through the city
thorough-fares leading to the civil secretariat where as per plans a memorandum
was to be presented to the Nero of Kashmir whose father had dreamt of the
state as his personal fiefdom. The demonstrators who were angry and indignant
raised anti-Farooq Abdullah slogans who as per his bistro Kashmir has been
instrumental in whipping up anti-Pandit hysteria through his frivolous
and unsavoury statements and has been Justifiably accused of shirking responsibility
for protecting the unarmed patriotic citizens from the terrorist onslaught.
They raised anti-ISI and anti-Pakistan slogans as well. The demonstrators
led by their sane leaders had to face unprecedented columns of' police
troops who resisted and thwarted their onward march to the Civil Secretariat.
Before negotiations could be concluded between the Hindu community leaders
and the police troops the latter pounced on the demonstrators in Nazi style
fury and rage perhaps at the behest of Nero himself. All demonstrators,
men, women and children, were mercilessly beaten at the Shalimar Crossing
and Indira Chowk with lathis and rifle butts. Smoke-shells without number
were rained on the demonstrators with the intention to kill them. Some
demonstrators, passers-by and scholars returning from schools got trapped
inside the Rameshwar Temple. The policemen under the orders of a Muslim
Officer gate-crashed into the Temple and kicked, beat & inflicted grievous
injuries on the trapped people. More than hundred rounds were fired in
air and three hundred smoke-shells hurled on the peaceful demonstrators.
One hundred and fifty people including women were fatally wounded and eighty-three
of them bore severe head injuries. All the injured demonstrators were admitted
to the Emergency ward of the Medical College, Jammu for treatment. Scores
of women injured in the brutal police action included Kirti Kalla, Vice-President
of ASKPC and Shyama Jee, an activist of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. A young
man was shifted to the Medical Institute in Chandigarh in an unconscious
and critical state as he was grievously wounded in the head.
commissioner on duty, an IAS officer, added a new feather to the Farooq
Abdullah Government when he in full public view was visibly seen hurling
stones and shells on the demonstrating mob of Kashmiri refugees.
On 26th March,
1997 the BJP issued a call for Jarmmu Bandh to register protest against
the police action on peaceful demonstrators in front of Civil Secretariat.
The bandh-call vitas supported by all the Kashmiri Pandit outfits and Jammu
Organisations. Roopnagar, Janipur and Tope Sherkhan areas in Jammu emerged
as flash-points when bearded policemen and Kashmiri Pandits Were seen locking
horns in ding-don" battles lasting for hours togetllcr. The Muslim employees
and their women-folk flanked be police troops provoked the demonstrating
Kashmiri Pandits for retaliatory acts. An SRTC bus used for transporting
the Muslim employees to the secretariat was said to hive been set on fire.
There were some violent incidents at Janipur said to be the aftermath of
police provocation. The government quarters at Tope Sherkhan were pelted
at when Muslim women-folk yelled pro-Azadi and pro-Pakistan slogans. Some
shops belonging to the Kashmiri Muslims were put to flames when Muslim
police desecrated a Temple. The residences of Kashmiri Pandits were broken
into, inmates kicked and beaten with lathis and rifle butts. Scores of
Pandits were fatally wounded. A retired INCAS officer was not spared either
and was left with profusely bleeding wounds. A budding boy was chased to
the rooftop where he was caught, given merciless beating and hurled down
the roof leaving him with his legs broken. The Kashmiri Pandits, mostly
students, who were taken into custody were mercilessly beaten and let off
reportedly after paying off huge sums of money.
of Police Action on Kashmiri Pandit Refugees
police action on Kashmiri Pandit protectors was widely condemned by all
sections of Indian populace.
Janta Party state unit strongly condemned the latch) charge, police firing
and tear gassing on peaceful demonstrators. In a statement the party vice-president
and incharge of Kashmir affairs alleged that instead of solving their pressing
problems and redressing their genuine grievances the government in saddle
has unleashed a reign of terror against them. He also alleged that the
National Conference Government has totally failed to meet the challenges
of militancy and is suppressing the loud voice of nationalist and patriotic
forces. Dr. Nirmal Singh, the general secretary of BJP, termed the attack
on the heads of processionists as a murderous assault which rebuffed the
secular claim of the government in power.
the police action the All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference warned the government
to desist from such brutal assault on the Hindu community members. It also
made it known that the militant and anti-national elements have unleashed
a reign of terror against the community in the valley by putting innocent
community members to bullets and the state government was harnessing all
its brute might to silence and stifle the voice of nationalist forces.
It also demanded a thorough probe into the police action that was uncalled
for and brutal.
The state Vishwa
Hindu Parishad was unequivocal in its condemnation of unprovoked firing,
tear-gassing and lathi charge on Kashmiri Hindus by the police. In a statement
the working president of the organisation strongly criticised the police
for pelting stones on Rameshwar Temple and beating people after chasing
them inside the Temple. He demanded a probe into the sacrilegious act of
The State Bajrangdal
warned the government that it should desist from harassing tile patriotic
forces and take decisive steps to eliminate the militancy from the valley.
It strongly condemned the police action on the peaceful Kashmiri Pandit
The All India
Kashmiri Pandit conference condemned the uncalled for and unprovoked police
action on the processionists. In a statement the senior Vice-President
and Chief Organiser alleged that instead of pacifying the demonstrators
the government gave a brutal show of its strength through police action.
The State Durga
Vahini expressed grave concern over the police action on peaceful Kashmiri
Hindu demonstrators. It demanded a probe into the action.
In a statement
the state president of ABVP warned the state administration that the brutal
police action against the Kashmiri Pandits will have serious repercussions.
scores of statements issued from numerous organizations that have condemned
the police action on Kashmiri Pandits who were protesting against the mass
massacre of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley by the Muslim terrorists. The
organizations included All India Kashmiri Samaj, Kashmiri Fire Sufferers
Forum, Youth Wing of Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, Non-camp Kashmiri Migrant Manch
the massive protest of Kashmiri Pandits against the carnage at Sangrampora
and wide-spread condemnation of police action on the peaceful demonstrators
Farooq Abdullah giving full and unbridled plan to his trait of ranting
and railing, bluffing and blustering thundered on the floor of the Legislative
Assembly, "Kashmir will always be a Muslim state and the status wouldn't
be allowed to dilute." And the National Conference members including the
terrorists of yester-years expressed their vigorous approbation of the
communally stanced statement of the Chief Minister through loud thumping
of desks. The statement having touched their inner chords was said to have
been rephrased, "As Kashmir is a Muslim state, it, therefore, cannot form
a part of the secular constitutional structure of India."
In his specific
reference to the Kashmiri Pandit protests he said, "no one mourns the death
of those Muslims who are being killed daily in Kashmir. Whether the blood
of Muslims is not red or they are "bekar" who had to be finished. Is the
blood of a Muslim cheap?"
upon the innards of the statement a UP legislator, Hans Raj Dogra, asked
as to who w as spilling the red blood of Muslims. Pat came the reply, "OUTSIDERS."
"Outsides" is duplicitous in intent and content, pregnant with double meaning
which required to be divined and intuited.
At a function
in the Central Hall of legislature the Chief Minister vented out his morbid
wrath against tile Kashmiri migrants (not displaced persons as per his
statement in Bombay) for unleashing disinformation against his plans (which
he has none) for their return to the valley. He veiled his lungs out, "I
am afraid only of God arid not Kashmiri Pandits. I am not going to be scared
about their processions and rallies. Farooq Abdullah will do float is the
demand of the situation."
A man in the
gallery was heard whispering, "And demand of the situation is not to dispossess
the grabbers and looters of their landed estates and residential houses
but to perpetuate the loot, grab and appropriation of their left-behind
properties and carry them not to their homes but to transit camps."
sounded very secular with commitments to the restoration and revival of
an ethos which virtually is eroded and decimated when he dilated on the
imperative of the return of Pandits so that bells at KhirBhawani and Hari
Parbhat were heard again.
upon his statement an elderly lawyer with tremendous political history
and commitment to secular ideology aptly put "it were better for the Chief
Minister to institute a judicial probe into his own contributions to the
erosion and decimation of Kashmiri ethos which he feigns to lament and
he should answer as to why the bells of Bhairav Nath Temple in Srinagar
have remained unrolled and unrung for the last 30 years despite court directions
and verdicts and if Pandits were vital to the Kashmiri ethos, why were
they labelled as Kafirs, targeted for rape and massacre and forced to flee
Pandits decry the Chief Minister's Statement
of the Kashmiri Pandit organizations accused the Chief Minister of declaring
war on the minorities of the state. Terming his statement in the Legislative
Assembly as superfluous and absurd, they made it amply clear that their
protests against the lapse of the government leading to the blood-bath
at Sangrampora had nothing to do with the dilution of the Muslim character
of the state and what was expected of the Chief Minister was that he should
respect and perpetuate the healthy principles that inform and regulate
a participatory democracy leaving aside parochial views and devise and
execute measures to ameliorate the lot of displaced Pandits. Hitting the
nail on the head they termed the brutal slaughter of Kashmiri Pandits as
a well-planned conspiracy to eject out the vestiges of Kashmiri Pandits
from the valley.
leader of Bhartiya Janata Party and in-charge Jammu and Kashmir affairs
Kedar Nath Sahni lashed out at Farooq Abdullah for making irresponsible
statements about Jammu and Kashmir thus adding complicacies to an already
complex problem and tensions to an already tense political situation. In
a vigorous statement at Jammu he expressed his contempt at the communally
tinted statement of the chief minister that Jammu and Kashmir will always
remain a Muslim majority state. He tailed to understand the motivation
that impelled him to issue such statements. He made it known that no fewer
than ten organisations had complained that there were moves afoot to metamorphose
the population complexion of Jammu.
The BJP leader
having made his mark as a sagacious and astute politician spared no words
in condemning the brutal lathi charge on Kashmiri refugees and violent
incidents at Top Sherkhan government quarters. He saw a big conspiracy
behind both the incidents and demanded a judicial probe to unravel it.
He castigated the government for its sheer failure in appreciating the
psyche and problems of Kashmiri Pandits and described the lathi charge
as barbaric and inhuman.
He was astonished
to learn about the Dcputv Commissioner on duty pelting stones on peaceful
canard that the Chief Minister was figmenting and disseminating about the
unwillingness of the Kashmiri Pandits to return to their native homes the
BJP leader made it explicitly clear that they would return only after safe
and conducive conditions were created through the elimination of terrorist
menace ravaging Kashmir. He saw a sinister game-plan in the Sangrampora
carnage which was to thwart and pre-empt the return of the natives.
about the normalcy having been restored in Kashmir valley was tattered
to shreds when scores of Kashmiri Pandit families that had weathered the
terrorist avalanche were forced to flee their native homes and hearths
for the woeful life as camp dwellers. The Sangrampora massacre opened a
new chapter of the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits which commenced in the wake
of 1989 killings and warnings to quit.
A number of
causes with their cumulative effect can be attributed to the mass killings
of Kashmiri Pandits and subsequent wave of fresh exodus from the valley.
There are observers who attribute it to the irresponsible and worthless
utterances of Farooq Abdullah about the displaced employees losing their
jobs and getting scored off the government registers in case they fail
to join their duties back in the valley. The hard and stark reality is
that the landed properties, houses and even jobs on which they could have
joined have been arbitrarily, and illegally usurped and grabbed by the
Muslims with absolute compliance from the powers that be. There are many
others who attribute the massacre and subsequent developments to the rabid
frustrations and desperation caused among pro-Pakistan terrorists who stand
in a large measure marginalised or eliminated through pro-India operatives.
The commoners in general believe that Farooq Abdullah through his vacillatory
postures has not been able to put up a stiff resistance to the terrorists
who were encouraged and advised to cross borders for arms training by him
only More so, he has been dabbling in frivolous issues like " greater autonomy
" and "pre-1953 status" there-by missing the wood for the trees. There
is a solid opinion that holds the Government of India responsible for the
massacre as it as a matter of policy has been attributing all killings
of Kashmiri Pandits to ISI and Pakistan thereby providing a shield to the
local killers who arc responsible for the Sangrampora massacre. Faronq
Abdullah employed the same tactic when he held foreign mercenaries responsible
for the blood-bath.
Conference leaders, better call them killers, as their hands are sullied
with the blood of Hindu Kafirs are not only suspicious of but opposed to
the dialogue that India and Pakistan have initiated at secretary level.
With a view to frustrating the dialogue the unscrupulous Hurriyat leaders
could have master-minded the Sangrampora killings. As a matter of strategy
the Hurriyat leaders do not want the dialogue to fructify through the resolution
of the entire spectrum of problems that have assumed a wider dimension
at the behest of a foreign U1trudcr that has its own geo-political game
up its sleeves.
of Sangrampora village even though the! were devastated through the mass
Massacre had no intentions of shifting to Jammu or elsewhere but had decided
to stay on despite government neglect and insensitivity. Inlet they could
not stay on because of communal tension that was fuelled up and aroused
by the communal utterances of the Chief Minister. The Muslim neighbours
nacho had earned praises galore for tolerance and accommodation bluntly
fated them to quit and before they abandoned their natural habitat, they
had to face social boycott. The terror that engulfed Sangrampora and adjoining
villages led to the exodus of twelve Kashmiri Pandit families residing
in Lalgam village in the same district. They have a saga of woes to relate.
Statement in Jammu
The RSS Chief,
Prof. Rajinder Singh, felt sect and shocked at the brutal treatment that
was meted out to Kashmiri Hindus languishing and wasting away in tooted
colonies and other slums. He declared that Kashmiri Hindus were not alone
in their bitter struggle against terrorism but the entire nation was behind
them. In his address to the RSS cadres he bluntly asked as to how there
could be communal harmony in a country where three lakh Hindus were forced
to buzz off their native houses to seek refuge in their own state. He dilated
upon the need to full protection and facilities to the migrants who had
taken up refugee-like life at Jammu.
In sharp contradiction
to the statement of Farooq Abdullah, Ali Mohammad Sagar, the Minister of
State for Home, held Hizbul Mujahideen responsible for the slaughter of
Sangrampora Pandits. As per the statement of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the
fierce armed Muslim outfit, denied its involvement in the incident and
added that "malgning Hizbul Mujahideen in the tragic incident was sheer
desperation on part of Sagar. Sager attributing the killings to the Hizb
was only disseminating lies and his history in politics was that of a hooligan
and rabble rouser" the statement added.
Mujahidden statement said that the government and the security agencies
have been at cross-purposes making contradictory statements with respect
to the involvement of the Muslim militants in the incident. The security
agencies laid the blame on the Hizb by making a reference to the wireless
message that was intercepted by them. But the army held Lashkar-e-Toiba
responsible for the mass massacre and again the foreign militants gunned
down in an encounter at Badgam were said to have been involved in the gruesome
government agencies responsible for the killings, the Hizb statement claimed
that it did not believe in killing innocent and unarmed civilians as it
was engaged in a holy (unholy) war where there is no place for killing
team visited Srinagar and Budgam districts to probe into the gruesome massacre
of Kashmiri Pandits by the Muslim terrorists battling for secession and
total Islamisation of Kashmir. The members of the team in a press conference
stated that bureaucratic militancy areas the biggest hurdle in the normalization
processes in Kashmir and the senior officers wielding levers of power not
only harboured bitter and despicable feelings against the Kashmiri Bandits
but in fact were out to torpedo any attempt by the Government or any section
of Kashmiri society to encourage the return of the natives. They could
not meet the Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar to know from him about the
plight of the staying-back Pandits as he refused to give them an audience.
They claimed that National Conference workers though their numbers had
considerably depleted were operating in league with militants. They also
blamed the government for concealing facts about the security scenario
in Kashmir and said that seven Kashmiri Pandits were butchered by Hizbul
Mujahideen terrorists and not by foreign mercenaries as was being claimed
and given out by the government in power.