On 9th October a rumor spread through the town of Bijbehara in South Kashmir that a Gun has been Stolen from a BSF man, The Army Hardly got chance to do anything, however they wanted Revenge, and they Got a Perfect chance on 22 October when the people people came out to protest against the siege of the most important Religious shrine in Kashmir- Hazratbal, witnesses recount.
While the People were shouting slogans against the Siege, brave Army men got angry and opened fire on the peaceful protesters Killing 53 and injuring more than 70.
Mohammed Shafi Wagay (18), Tried to lift the body of his brother who lay injured on the road, he was shot dead there, Ghulam Ahmad Pandit(70), tried to pick his son when he was shot dead, Sikandar Ahmad Thokru (46) A Policeman tried to help by way of lifting a Dead body, But even he was not spared.
Sara, A woman tried to help an injured by Giving him water and down she came with the Glass of water, The BSF Men upon spotting her, shot the same arm piercing it in which she was holding the glass of Water..
Parvez Ahmad Dar(14), tried to pick his Cousin but was not able to as he too was shot dead.
Kamal Ji Koul was just mending the Fence of a courtyard, He went looking for his brother, While on the Main Road he saw many dead and Injured he fell unconscious, seeing some life in his body a Army man made him stand up. He pleaded being a Hindu, he be spared, The security man Shouted ‘There are No Hindus Here’.
Kamal was shot him on his shoulder, He ran only to receive a Bullet on his Back and fell dead.
Abdul Gani Hajam was holding his inured son in a vehicle that was moving towards Islamabad (Anantnag) District Hospital, Abdul Rehman picked up other 6 injured in the same vehicle, Army men stopped the vehicle for 20 minutes, resulting in excessive blood loss and all the 6 died in the vehicle.
The people of the Bijbehara area still commemorate the day as black day and hundreds gather at the ‘Martyrs Graveyard’, The ruins of these abandoned homes are a standing testimony to the massacre. Bijbehara is perhaps the first and only town in the valley where people have raised the memorial for the martyrs soon after the incident.
The memorial is a standing structure in the shape of a monument in the playground turned martyr’s graveyard in New Colony Bijbehara. It has names of all the slain inscribed on it.
Author: Qazi Shibli
Qazi Shibli is a News Editor with ‘The Kashmiriyat.’ He is a Journalism graduate from Bangalore University.