Syed Goussia Tabassum
Time flies away, but the agony of any gruesome episode leaves the eternal imprints in the hearts of people. The dents which can never be compensated, the wounds that never stop aching, the pain remains youthful and the cries of despair keep roaring.
In this long driven bloody conflict the valley confronts the number of incidents and among all these incidents the khanyar massacre that took place on 8th May 1991 will be remembered in the bloody history of Kashmir as a dark day alongside many blood-soaked chapters of history. The episode is so old that after some time it will be obsolete and demanding justice for the same will be futile.
But the thing which needs to adhere is after the period of almost three decades the justice is yet to be delivered and this continued delay of justice is a big question mark on the whole judicial system.
Twenty Seven years past, twenty-three civilians killed (as per official record) in khanyar area of downtown Srinagar and the victims of the massacre are yet to get the justice. On 8th May 1991, the massacre took place at khanyar Srinagar when a peaceful procession carrying the coffins of three persons killed at Saida kadal locality were being bought for burial.
As per eyewitness testimonials, the mourners were showered with bullets leaving at least 70 people dead out of which 23 died on spot and rest succumbed to their injuries later on.
But the tale of this massacre is beyond plain statistics, the pain and agony of the victims was not only all about these 70 dead bodies, but it was about every single person who was the part of the family or even who was the part of the community. The families of victims lost not only their dear ones in this horrendous massacre but the flood of grief and sorrows still echo in the lanes, and in the hearts of those who lost their dear ones.
The children of Mohammad Amin, one of the victims have lost hope on the judicial system, while as the sisters of Fayaz Ahmad Anchari not only lost their beloved brother but the whole family went into severe depression as they lost their sole bread earner, the backbone of their family. The sister of Fayaz proclaimed that “my father and my mother are now mere bodies without soul due to the mental shock,”.
“From that incident, they have had psychological disorders, they suffer from schizophrenia, the whole burden of supporting my family went on the shoulders of my brother who was a mere child of 9th standard and his education became a victim.”
Fayaz’s sister same is the case of Imtiyaz Ahmed where this son in search of justice for his mother has lost his everything “In search of Justice, her hair turned grey, she lost the sight of her eyes and health lost it tranquility but still justice is yet to delivered.”
The catered eyes of old father of Shaheema is still agog to meet “Justice,” the nodded head, bent back, walking stick in the hand the old father sitting on the stairs sobs and murmurs “oh dear come back home”!
However, in regard to this massacre, a petition was filed by Chairman of an international forum for justice (IFJ) Mohammad Ahsan Untoo in state human rights commission (SHRC) on Feb 28, 2013. But, the documents are transiting into mere pieces of paper becoming the heap of one office to the other.
Despite twenty seven years having passed, no culprit has been brough to the book.
The deluded sense of ‘compensatory justice’ has not worked even here, as the families even after 28 years are doing rounds of courts and trying to find justice and there is an urgent need of justice to be done. Otherwise it will remain a huge question mark on whole judicial system.
Such stories are heart wrenching beyong explanation, But the whispers of ailing hearts chant a single slogan “when will justice be delivered”.
Syed Goussia Tabassum is a law student at Kashmir University and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org