March 20, 2000: Remembering The Chattisinghpora Massacre

Video By: Rayees Ahmad | Artcile By: Nusrat Ali

The Chittisinghpora massacre refers to the fatal shooting of 35 Sikhs on 20 March 2000, in the Anantnag district. According to the Indian government, they came wearing Indian Army fatigues to avoid detection, the killers came into the village in two groups at separate ends of the village where the two Gurdwaras were located. They first lined up the Sikhs, who had been celebrating the Holi or Hola Mahalla Festival, in front of their Gurdwaras and opened fire, killing thirty-six people.

A lady, Kulwant Kaur who lost her 5 family members during the incident, and Yashpal Singh another resident of this area who happens to be General Secretary Gurduwara Prabandhak Committee was 14 years old when his father was shot dead in front of him. Both the people narrate the ordeal of the day when this massacre took place.

It happened during the then US President Bill Clinton’s visit to India. The Indian government asserts that the massacre was carried out by Islamic militant groups Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujhaideen. The authorities blamed the gory incident on separatist militants, whom the army and J&K police claimed to have killed in an encounter five days later.

But the CBI, in its 2006 charge sheet, said that all five slain ‘foreign militants’ were unarmed civilians picked up from different areas of the district and described the encounter as ‘fake’

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