Baramulla, Jan 06 (KNB): On this fateful day exactly 25 years ago, Sopore town witnessed one of the bloodiest massacres in its history when more than 57 helpless civilians were butchered by the BSF troopers of 94th battalion.
It was the usual cold morning of 6th January 1993 when people were still sleeping and not aware what was about to befall. According to the sources BSF were usually patrolling the area and went on rampage after an alleged rebel snatched a service riffle from one of them.
Then what followed was so gory and guts wrenching to remember. They started firing indiscriminately killing every civilian coming their way and when this was not enough a bus going from Sopore to Bandipora was stopped, driver was dragged out of the bus and bullets pumped into the bodies of passengers killing 20 of them on spot. The bus was also burnt down.
Eyewitnesses while remembering the horrific details reveal that among 57 killed, 48 died due to bullets and 9 were burnt alive. Many of the commercial establishments and residential houses were gutted which included the famous Samad talkies and women’s degree college and some of the localities of Arampora, Kralteng, Shallpora, were also set ablaze.
As BSF was firing, some of the people who were in the shops were burnt alive in the shops as they were trying to hide from the bullets. Even the ones who came to help the injured were met with bullets and there were roads were lying with blood and bodies of the killed.
“The image of the burning shopkeeper coming out from his shop and shouting hysterically has stayed with me all these years, his head was in flames”, said Tariq Ahmad, a survivor of the massacre.
The family who suffered the highest loss was Shalla family of Shalpora Sopore whose four members were killed. Even today the people of the town have not been able to forget that day when the sky had fallen on the town.
A commission was set up after 24 days of the massacre on 30th January headed by Justice Amarjeet Chowdary, who could not submit even one report till date and the fate of the inquiry is as of every commission set up to investigate the human rights violations in the state. (KNB)