SRINAGAR, OCT 22: Amid mourning seven civilians killed in Kulgam post encounter explosion, Kashmir remembers October 22, 1993, Bijbehara bloodbath.
It was observed that the netizens of social media were posting their remembrance about theBijbehara bloodbath. “When bullets rained over unarmed protestors, and bodies fell,” wrote Amir Ali Shah on Twitter, while sharing an article on the 1993’s Bijbehara massacre, where at least 37 people were shot dead, as per Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) 2006 report.
On the afternoon of October 22, 1993, hundred’s assembled on the main road in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town to protest against the military siege of Srinagar’s Hazratbal town, when, the troops from the 74th battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF) indiscriminately opened fire on the protestors.
While the numbers of total death vary, more than 200 were injured in the firing, of which, many have been left physically handicapped. Many questioned that 25 years have passed since; the inquiry set up by the State to investigate the incident has gone nowhere.
The BSF had claimed that the militants opened the firing, to which, they had to retaliate in “self-defense”. However, the enquiry report stated: “The claim made by the BSF that they were forced to retaliate [because of] the firing of militants for self-defence is baseless and concocted. The security personnel has committed offense out of vengeance and their barbarous act was deliberate and well planned.” Soon after the probe began, the unit of 74th battalion of BSF involved in the firing was shifted from the area.
Quoting an eyewitness, the HRW, in its 2006 report stated: “The people had gathered on the National Highway which passes through Beijbehara town. It was like this even then, narrow, with shops on both sides of the road. There were thousands of people shouting slogans. But it was peaceful. The BSF just opened fire without any warning. It was terrible. There were so many people lying on the ground. Others were running in panic. This road, this very road, was full of blood.” (PTK)