AUGUST 1, 1990 | When Pattan market was painted red

Greater Kashmir

TeH calls for shutdown in Pattan today

Pattan town in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district is commemorating 20th anniversary of the killing of twelve people including two cops who were allegedly murdered by Indian Army on 1 August 1990.


At least 12 persons including 2 cops were shot dead while as 82 persons received bullet injuries when soldiers fired indiscriminately upon people present in busy Pattan market on that fateful day.


Narrating the incident, the survivors told CNS that on August 1, 1990, an Army Convoy was on way to Srinagar from Baramulla.


 “Some private trucks were also part of the long Army convoy. Pattan road was in shambles and there were potholes. The tyre of one of the Army vehicle suddenly burst and Army personnel with their fingers on triggers mistook it as militant attack and resorted to firing that lasted for five to eight minutes. It was a hell like situation. People ran for cover while the vendors and shopkeepers received serious injuries during the stampede. Army directly targeted civilians. Over hundred civilians received bullets among which 12 lost their lives,” they said.


One of the survivors, Ghulam Hasan Bhat from main town Pattan told CNS that he received 16 bullets and yet Almighty saved his life. “After receiving bullets in arms, legs and lower part of belly, I lied in a gutter. I saw unbridled Army personnel directly targeting people. The dead bodies and injured were lying in blood. I lost conscience after I watched an Army jawan pumping bullets into the body of a fruit seller from Shoch hamlet,” he said.


Another survivor from Poshwani who wished not to be named said that on that fateful day, an Assistant Sub Inspector, Abdul Rouf and a police constable, Dilip Singh were present in the market. “Rouf received at least 32 bullets and died on spot and same was the fate of Dilip Singh,” he said.


Another eyewitness, Ghulam Mohiudin alias Mohda Kak from Pattan town said that after killing spree, the soldiers entered into Mian Mohalla Pattan and set various residential houses on fire.


 “The house of my friend Muhammad Akram was also set on fire by Army men. It sends chill down my spine whenever I remember the incident,” he said. 


“Not a single shop opened up for two weeks in the town after the fateful incident. Some of the deceased who were killed in Army firing were identified as Abdul Rouf, Dilip Singh, Ghulam Hasan Zargar, Wali Muhammad Itoo, Abdul Rehman, Habibullah Darzi, mentally-challenged Abdul Khaliq and Nayeem Ahmed Sheikh.”


A police official on condition of anonymity said that Army claimed that the civilians were killed in cross firing as militants attacked their convoy. “An FIR No. 124/1990 under section 307, 3/25 still stands registered in police station Pattan,” he said.


Meanwhile, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat has called for complete shutdown in Pattan against the incident on Friday. Confirming it, the Secretary TeH, Tanvir Geelani said that the organization has asked people to observe shutdown in the town. CNS