From KO Archives | 5 Sikhs Gunned Down In Srinagar

Indefinite Curfew In City Areas

SRINAGAR-  Indefinite curfew was imposed in parts of the city tonight fol­lowing killing of five per­sons belonging to a particu­lar community by some unidentified gunmen at Mehjoor Nagar today.

A vast area around the place has been cordoned off and house to house searches launched to apprehend the killers.

The areas in which curfew was imposed fall in the jurisdiction of police stations Parimpora, Batamaloo, Rainawari, Ram Munshibagh, Sher Garghi, Sadr, Shaheed Gunj, Rambagh, Kothibagh, Maisuma. Army and para-mili­tary forces in strength have been deployed in these areas.

According to reports, 6 to 8 gunmen swooped on Mehjoor Nagar locality across Rajbagh around 6 30 p.m. today and re­sorted to indiscriminate firing on a group of Sikhs there. They also entered a couple of houses. In the shoot out over a dozen Sikhs, including three of a fam­ily, were injured, some of them seriously. The assailants who had reportedly come in a three-wheelers escaped from the area after the shoot-out.

All those injured were rushed to various city hospitals where four of them succumbed to their injuries.

Those admitted in nearby Bone and Joint Hospital were identified as Dharminder Singh (22) s/o Amarjit Singh r/o Aloochibagh, Amar Singh (35) s/o Prithipal Singh his mother, Chand Kour (48) and Balwant Singh (65) s/o Mai Chand Singh, all residents of Mehjoor Nagar. Of them, Balwant Singh succumbed to his injuries.

Four of the injured admitted in the SMHS hospital were identified as Surjit Singh s/o Nirmal, Samir Pal Singh s/o Kanwar Nain Singh, Kanwar Nain Singh s/o Khayam Singh and Satinder Kour w/o Kanwar Nain Singh, residents of Mehjoor Nagar. Of them, Surjit Singh and Samir Pal Singh suc­cumbed to their injuries.

(According to a report, one Gurmeet Singh had died on the spot.) Some of those injured were shifted to the SK Institute of Medical Sciences where they were suited to in critical condi­tion.

A NAFA report said late in the evening that army and para-military forces had cor­doned off the Mehjoor Nagar locality and some adjoining ar­eas and started house-to-house searches. A Brigadier from 311 sub-area was stated to be com­manding the operation. The Inspector General of Police, Dr Ashok Bhan, was camping in the area along with several sen­ior police officials.

Unconfirmed reports sug­gested that the security forces had entered several houses in the locality. A local agency rang up an acquaintance in the area twice this evening. The first time he talked to the friend, but when he rang up again, some­one picked up the phone made no answer, suggesting that there was something wrong in the house. Fear and tension has gripped the locality, and reports indicated many residents had fled from their houses out of fear.

This is the second major incident in which members of the Sikh community have been tar­geted. On the night of March 20, 2000, some unidentified gun­men massacred 35 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora, remote vil­lage of Anantnag district A few days later the police claimed having killed the 'militants' responsible for the massacre However, subsequent develop­ments belied the police claim, and those killed by it turned out to be local civilian youth.

It may be recalled a judicial probe headed by Justice R Pandian later indicted the police for the civilian killing following which the Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah had an­nounced setting up of a commis­sion of enquiry headed by a re­tired or sitting judge of the Su­preme Court to probe the Chattisinghpora massacre

Dr. Abdullah even ignored the Pandian Commission rec­ommendation to reinstate one Superintendent of Police on the plea that a linkage had been established between the Bragpora killing and the Chatisinghpora massacre. However, the commission of enquiry is yet to be setup.

  (Kashmir Observer, 05 February, 2001)

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