While the victims of Bijbehara massacre in which 40 people were killed and 160 others injured, are still waiting for the justice after 16 years, the residents of the town say that the fateful day will continue to haunt them as long as they are alive. It was on this day when Indian Border Security Force (BSF) personnel opened fire indiscriminately on the peaceful protesters who were demanding end of the siege around the holy shrine at Hazratbal Srinagar
Recalling the gory massacre of October 22, 1993, Hamid says, “It was Friday and people offered prayers at historical Jamia Masjid. Afterwards a massive procession of peaceful protesters was taken out. They were demanding end of the siege around the holy shrine at Hazratbal Srinagar. After reaching near highway the BSF personal started firing indiscriminately on the unarmed protesters from three directions killing 40 people on spot and injuring 160.”
“After hearing the news of my second son, Muhammad Altaf Hussian having achieved martyrdom in BSF firing, we all rushed to the spot to bring his body home. On reaching there it seemed difficult to locate the body of my son as hundreds of people, both dead and injured, were lying scattered. It was like fishing out the body from the river of blood and finally we found his bullet ridden body to be carried in a coffin to the graveyard for burial,” said Nazir, adding that it was no less than a dooms day as the entire town was mourning the death of their loved ones.
“We can never forget the moment when I had to dig the grave and bury my son myself,” he added.
Nazir hopes that the blood of tens of thousands of martyrs including his son who sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom will not go in vain.
“Freedom demands blood and we have given it and will continue to give till we achieve it. I believe that the blood of our martyrs will never go waste,” he said.
Citing the example of Manzoor Ahmad Baddar who lost his life in the massacre, a resident Sameer Ahmad said , ” Manzoor who was not only the sole bread winner for his family but the lone brother of five sisters achieved martyrdom in the massacre. Manzoor’s house since his death continues to be locked. Since all her sisters were married and her ailing mother was left with no option but to live with one of her daughters in her in-laws’ house.”
“We can never forget the scene when the family members of the martyrs were themselves burying the bodies of the dear ones as there was no one to console them or lend them a hand as the entire town had turned into state of mourning”.
Recalling the day, Riyaz Ahmad, who survived the massacre, said that the BSF personal involved in the massacre have not been punished yet.
“Even after being identified by the eyewitnesses of the massacre the troopers involved in the killing of 40 people have not been punished yet,” he added.