Sameer Showkin Lone
”Necessarily to be wore in the white shroud"
"Nation is our street killer”
After Nineteen long years the memories are still fresh in the minds of people and continue to haunt the survivors in whole Kashmir especially in north Kashmir’s Handwara town.
It was the fateful Monday morning of October 1,1990 ,when troopers of 13 Kumaon Regiment of Indian Army and personnel of Border Security Force (BSF) killed 22 civilians in cold blood and set the town ablaze, to retaliate the killing of a BSF trooper by militants.
On 1st October 1990, the Handwara market opened as usual in the morning. It was 9:45 of ‘moan day’ morning. After Sundays’ market break, there was hustle and bustle in the market. A Sunny day and when people were busy in daily chores. The streets were full with charm and joy. The “Fish market” of Handwara where the people and two BSF personnel were buying fishes, suddenly the sounds of gun shots rang. On a first glimpse one of the fish purchasing BSF troopers was shot down in the market.
In the meantime the another partner of BSF men in retaliation fired upon the assailant, killing him on the spot, who later proved to be a militant of Operation Balakot outfit, Shahbaz by name.After the incident the other deployed BSF cops in the town went berserk and started firing ruthlessly. The masses shivered and fled to safer places. The army convoy from Baramulla to kupwara reached kalingam chowk, in the outskirts of Handwara. On hearing the gruesome sound of bullets, they marched on foot towards Handwara main-chowk and joined the mayhem. Whoever came across them on the way lost his/her life. soldiers showered bullets on unarmed civilians and torched crops, shops and houses without any hassle.
In this two hour naked game of death and destruction 22 people were shot dead and nearly 150 houses, 400 shops changed into heap of ashes. The co-operative bank, Development Bank and tehsil library were also reduced to ashes. Even the policemen had not been forgiven.Ali Mohd. Who was on duty outside police station Handwara was also shot dead by forces.The brutality of that day doesn’t still get neglected by the survivors.
The heart penetrating part of the painful story adds more pain when troops entered into the house of one Mehraj and tried to roast him alive. His mother resisted forces attempts and tried to save Mehraj from the jaws of military forces. But they dragged her too and bruised her chest with bullets. Mehraj embraced his mother and welcomed the bullets of military forces.Both left for the heavenly abode.Carrying on the violent game of death and destruction, Mohd. Amin bhat of a well-known family was asked by military forces to come down from his vehicle along with his friend. The brutality of such black days still continue in the moutain covered paradise,the streets,snow-capped mountains painted red tell the story of fears,tears,sighs,pains,gains,losses and ...many…more...