209 Kashmiri Pandits Killed Since 1989, Say J-K Cops In First Report
By Muzamil Jaleel
In the first such report compiled since the outbreak of militancy in the Valley, a Jammu and Kashmir Police report says that 209 Kashmiri Pandits were killed by militants since 1989. Chargesheets have been filed in 24 cases while killers in 115 cases remain unidentified or untraced.
The police report — a copy of which is with The Indian Express — says that 140 cases of killing of Kashmiri Pandits by militants have been registered at police stations across the Valley.
The police have booked 31 local militants for the killings in 24 cases in which the chargesheets have been filed. According to the report, three local militants involved in the killing of trade unionist and rights activist H N Wanchoo have been convicted. Wanchoo was killed on December 5, 1992 at Balgarden in Srinagar city. All other militants who have been chargesheeted are, however, out on bail.
The investigation into the killing of retired judge Neel Kanth Ganju, who was killed on November 1,1989 at Hari Singh High Street in Srinagar, has been handed over to the CBI.
According to this police report, the first case of murder of a Kashmiri Pandit was of a woman, Prabhavati from Nawagari, Chadoora in Budgam district. According to police records, Prabhavati was killed at Hari Singh High Street on March 14, 1989. Her killers remained untraced.
Of the 209 Kashmiri Pandits killed, 109 died in 1990.
The killings of Kashmiri Pandits include the massacres at Sangrampora, Wandhama and Nadimarg — seven were killed during the night of March 21-22, 1997 at Sangrampora village in Budgam, 23 were killed in Wandhama on January 25, 1998 and 24 died in Nadimarg on March 24, 2003.
According to the police report, perpetrators of the Wandhama massacre are still untraced. But the police has identified Pakistani militants Abu Haris and Abu Khalid as those who carried out the Sangrampora killings. Both militants were killed in an encounter at Hewader on March 24, 1997. The police has challaned the Nadimarg massacre case, identifying Zai Mustafa alias Abdullah of Rawalakot, Pakistan as the perpetrator.
The report reveals that the majority of Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Srinagar city — 82 people died since 1989. Twenty eight Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Ganderbal, 11 in Baramulla, 28 in Pulwama, four in Kupwara, 16 in Budgam, 17 in Kulgam, three in Awantipora, 16 in Anantnag and four in Handwara.
Courtesy: The Indian Express
Thumbnail Description: Kashmiri Pandit women wailing over the killing of some relatives at Nadimarg Village, Pulwama. Photo: PTI