This north Kashmir town observed a complete shutdown on Wednesday to mark the 23rd anniversary of Sopore massacre.
Pertinently, on this day in 1993, at least 57 people were shot dead by paramilitary BSF men personnel from 94rth battalion after the massacre, troopers indulged in arson and set ablaze entire Sopore market.
The call for the shutdown was given by the Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani. All shops and business establishments remained closed while traffic remained off the roads.
The authorities had deployed additional police and paramilitary CRPF men in the town to thwart any protests.
Eyewitnessessaid that hundreds of residents offered congregational Fateha in Masjids.
Scores of separatist including JKLF vice-chairman Advocate Bashir Ahmed Bhat, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Muhammad Sidiq Shah, Syed Nisar Ahmed Jeelani, Farooq Ahmed Hakeem Maulana Reyaz Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Bilal Sidique, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Imtiyaz Ahmed Reshi addressed people who had gathered at Martyrs Grave yard here to offer special prayers to the departed souls.
Islamic Political Party Chairman Muhammad Yousuf Naqash in his speech castigated Government of India for taking no action against the perpetrators and said that even after 23 years, not single BSF man responsible for the gruesome incident was indicted.
Chairman International Forum for Justice Ahsan Untoo said that more than 50 people were murdered by BSF personnel and even after lodging a FIR by president Anjaman-i-Munir-ul-Islam, Muhammad Ilyas, no action was taken against the perpetrators. He said justice still continues to elude the victim families.
Meanwhile, Chairman Hurriyat Coference (G) Syed Ali Geelani hailed the people of Sopore for observing a shutdown on the 22nd anniversary the "Sopore martyrs".
Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba Wednesday paid rich tributes to the Sopore massacre victims. The outfit while lauding the role of people of Sopore in Kashmir struggle said that LeT salutes the resilience and dedication of common people of Sopore.
The LeT Chief Mehmood Shah in a statement to CNS said: "On January 6, 1993, troopers crossed all limits. We salute the people of Sopore and all those who sacrificed their lives for sake of freedom struggle. Following the footsteps of these martyrs, our youth have been managing this struggle. The sacrifices will lead us towards the destination."