Srinagar, March 22: Justice has been eluding the survivors of Nadimarg massacre from past fourteen years. It was on the night of March 23, 2003 when unidentified armed men in army uniform butchered 24 Kashmiri Pandits including 11 females and 2 toddlers.
Nadimarg, a village in South Kashmir’s Shopian district made headlines in 2003 after this gory massacre. Though authorities claimed that four armed men were responsible for the massacre, among which three later on died in different encounters while the fourth one, a Pakistani militant Zia Mustafa was arrested and is languishing in Central Jail Srinagar.
Advocate Mubashir Ahmed Ghutoo, the Counsel for Pakistani militant Zia Mustafa informed CNS that State has miserably failed to produce any witnesses against his client. He said that the trial has been over and Court was ready to pronounce it’s judgment, however State moved to Supreme Court that directed High Court to reconsider the prayers of the State that wishes to re-examine the witnesses afresh. “As a lawyer I can say that Court will acquit my client Mustafa Zia,” he said.
Activist Sanjay Tickoo who heads Kashmir Sangharash Smiti issued a statement on Wednesday claiming that these Pandits were killed to avenge the Gujarat killings of 2002. He further claimed that militants in active support with the youth of the adjoining areas indulged in this crime to celebrate Pakistan Resolution Day. Tickoo in his statement claims that his organization KPSS did ground zero investigation about this crime and found that it was a well planned attempt by some armed insurgents and local youths from the adjoining villages to take revenge of the Gujrat Roits which took place after the Ghodhra Train Buring in the year 2002 and to celebrate Pakistan Resolution Day by killing Kashmiri Pandits. He has also raised a finger on the role of Investigating agency and Investigating Officer for not identifying and booking the culprits.
However, last year while speaking to CNS about this gory massacre, Tickoo was silent about the role of local youths of adjoining areas and he had not connected the incident to Gujarat massacre of Muslims.
“It is still a mystery who butchered the 24 Kashmiri Pandits in Nadimarg but after my visit there it became evident that killers were professional and they were not four in number. Shortly after the massacre i rushed to Nadimarg and applied in what Kashmiri is called “sinder” (vermillion) on the faces of the victims to hide their bullet marks, before helping with the last rites. What I observed stunned me. The killers had pumped bullets from head to chin of the victims. Not a single bullet was fired upon the victims down the chin. This made it clear that killers were professional,” Tickoo had told CNS last year, though this time he didn’t respond to repeated phone calls.
“KPSS reiterate the demand that a “Truth and Justice Commission” be formed who will be authorized to look into all these incidents which took place in the State of Jammu and Kashmir from the last 27 years and book the culprits so that the justice is done to the people who were killed by the State and Non-State Actors,” the statement issued by organization reads. (CNS)