22 people killed in 1991 search operation; SHRC seeks compensation details

Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 25 2018 11:23PM | Updated Date: Feb 26 2018 1:38AM
22 people killed in 1991 search operation; SHRC seeks compensation details

The State Human Rights Commission has asked the government to provide a detailed report on the ex-gratia relief provided to the kin of about 22 people killed during a search operation in Bandipora in 1991.

A member of the commission, Dilshada Shaheen, directed the additional deputy commissioner to send a detailed report. 

“They have sent a list of the people but it is not clear who they have compensated. The report has a lot of ambiguities so I have asked them to resend it with proper details,” she said.

Rights activist Ahsan Untoo had in 2013 filed a petition with the SHRC, seeking an investigation into the massacre and compensation to the kin of the victims.

The petitioner, who is the chairperson of the International Forum for Justice and Human Rights, in his petition, had stated, “The soldiers cordoned off the villages in Bandipora from 12 September to 19 September 1991 and over 22 civilians were killed and women molested.”

“The army cordoned off Astengo, Keunees, Aloosa and many other villages. No person was allowed to enter the cordoned areas, and after the cordon was over many people were arrested, tortured and killed,” he had said in the petition.

“Majid Kashmiri was killed due to firing by force, Mumtaz Mir and his brother Showkat Wani were also killed by the army, Bashir Ahmad Shah and Abdullah Sofi were taken into custody by army, after three days their dead bodies were handed over to their families,” he said.

“Gaffar Sheikh was killed due to heavy beating, Raja Begum suffered a heart arrest after her husband was beaten up by police, and Shakeel Ahmad was killed due to beating,” he said.

Untoo had given details about other people who were killed: “Raja Gujjar and Kalu Gujjar were shot dead by the army. Also nine more civilians were killed on that day – Mehraj-ud-din, Nisar Ahmad Khan, Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, Siraj Din, Najam-ud-din, Gulzar Ahmad, Fata, Nadeem and Abdul Rehman Gujjar. The locals of these villagers have also lodged an FIR regarding the molestation of woman and killing of innocent civilians.”

Four years after the petition, deputy commissioner Bandipora submitted a report before the commission wherein he states that the civilians who were killed in Bandipora “died in an encounter with army personnel”.

At the same time, his report says, “During the course of investigation it has not been ascertained whether the deceased persons were affiliated with illegal outfit organisations or otherwise. Finally, the case was closed as untraced.”