Srinagar, January 06 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, justice continues to elude the victim families of gory Sopore massacre for the past 23 years whose near and dear ones lost their lives at the hands of Indian paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in the Apple town of Sopore on January 6, 1993.

Over 50 innocent civilians were killed by the BSF troops on that fateful day when they went on a rampage after a riffle was allegedly snatched from a BSF soldier by an unknown man.

Shortly after the incident, the BSF men from 94th Battalion butchered 57 civilians. People who witnessed the gruesome massacre told media that marauding troops dragged a bus driver out from the vehicle and pumped bullets into the bodies of passengers killing 20 of them on the spot. “After killing the passengers, the troops started spraying gun powder, petrol and kerosene on the surrounding buildings and then torched them,” they said.

“Among the 57 dead civilians, 48 died due to bullet shots and 9 were burnt alive. More than 400 commercial establishments and 75 residential houses were set ablaze in five localities of Sopore – Armpora, Muslimpeer, Kralteng, Shallapora, Shahabad and Bobimir Sahab. Among the burnt buildings there were some landmark buildings like Women’s Degree College,” a witness said. “We couldn’t comprehend anything when we watched BSF personnel targeting every civilian with bullets. Days after the gruesome massacre, we came to know that a BSF man was robbed of his rifle by an unknown man and to avenge that incident, they targeted innocent civilians,” said another eyewitness.

Human rights defender, Parvaiz Imroz, told media that 24 days after the massacre, the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was tasked with the probe in January 1993 and took 20 years to carry out investigations, only to seek closure of the case citing lack of evidence.

The survivors of the Sopore massacre had contested the closure of the case, and the CBI was asked by a court to produce the entire investigation record on 20 January, 2014.

“Despite earlier court orders to the same effect, the CBI deliberately refused to share the record, so as to further delay the proceedings,” Parvaiz Imroz said.

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