Of massacres and flimsy hope for justice!

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page


Syed Goussia Tabassum

Time flies! But the agony of the gruesome episodes leaves eternal imprints on the hearts and minds of people. The losses that can never be compensated, the wounds are still aching, the pain is still raw and the cries of despair are still roaring. In this long driven bloody conflict, the valley has witnessed mayhem and brutality and among such incidents is the Khanyar massacre which took place on 8th May 1991. The massacre will be remembered in the history of Kashmir along with other blood-soaked events as a dark day.

While the pain is like a burning scar, demanding justice for the same may not be that popular as the time passes by and it is a tragic fact that even after more than two decades, justice is yet to be delivered and the continued delay of justice is a big question mark on a whole judicial system.

Twenty Seven years have passed when nearly twenty-three civilians were killed (as per official record) in Khanyar area of downtown Srinagar and the victims of the massacre are yet to get justice. On 8th May 1991, the massacre happened at khanyar Srinagar when a peaceful procession carrying the dead bodies of persons killed at Saida kadal locality were being bought for burial, a firing incident happened in the area in which, as per the official record, at least twenty three unarmed civilians were killed and several left injured.

However, the are some organizations that claim that the causality was as high as seventy while 23 persons had died on the spot. The horrific tale of the massacre, however, indicates that it wasn’t only about those twenty three or seventy people who died but about hundreds of those family members who had lost their dear ones.

The families of victims not only lost their dear ones grief and sorrow became a part of their lives ever since. Nearly all the bereaved families feel that the judicial system had betrayed them and failed them for it remained a mute spectator to the mayhem that was orchestrated at Khanyar.

A petition was filed by Chairman of ‘International Forum for Justice’ (IFJ) Mohammad Ahsan Untoo in state human rights commission (SHRC) on Feb 28, 2013. But the documents are still going from one department to another- from one table to another. Despite twenty seven years having passed no one has ever been brought to justice!

Yes, the families have been provided compensation but can the pain, despair, and sorrow of killing their near and dear ones be measured on the monetary value? If that be the case, than there will be no purpose of courts, the concept of justice will no longer require toexist and anyone killed would be simply compensated financially and that is it! This way, a welfare state will become a laissez-faire state. So, basically there is an urgent need of justice to be done in order to undo the question marks labelled over the entire judicial system.

Author is a Law Student and can be mailed at [email protected]  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *