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ayaan khuehami
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Journalist with a human heart
Journalist with a human heart

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Sopore massacre
The "Sopore Massacre"
refers to the alleged
killing of 55 Kashmiri
civilians by the Indian
Border Security Force
(BSF) after militants
ambushed a BSF patrol,
[1] in the town of Sopore
in Kashmir on 6 January
1993. [2]
Background
Sopore is a major town in
Kashmir within the
Baramulla District. It is
50 km (31 mi) north-west
from Srinagar. Mainly
known for its apples,
Sopore has been a major
trading center in Kashmir.
Iqbal market is the main
market of the town. Eight
km (5 miles) from Sopore
is the famous Wular lake,
the largest fresh water
lake in South Asia.
The massacre
On the morning of 6
January 1993 when a
group of 7–8 armed JKLF
militants attacked a
platoon of Border Security
Force soldiers at Baba
Yousuf Lane near Sopore
and killing at least one.
[2][3] It was alleged that
after this the Indian
troops fired at local
residents and set fire to
local homes and
businesses. [1] Witnesses
claim that Indian troops
attacked a public coach
killing the driver and at
least 15 passengers as
well as attacking and
burning three other cars.
Some residents were
burnt alive as Indian
troops set fire to their
homes and businesses. [2]
In all, official Indian
Government reports state
that 250 shops and 50
homes were burnt down
although Kashmiri
sources claim as many as
450 buildings were burnt
down. [1] International
news agencies reported:
"The Border Security
Forces sprayed a public
coach with machine-gun
fire, killing the driver and
more than 15 passengers,
said witnesses. Three
other cars were also fired
on, and then the
paramilitary forces set the
vehicles ablaze. Next,
they began herding the
native Kashmiris into
shops and houses, said
witnesses. Then the
security forces shot them,
splashed paraffin over the
bodies and set the
buildings alight." [1]
The people who fired on
local residents and set
fire to local homes were
not Muslim extremists but
unfortunately BSF
personnel who went on
rampage after one of them
was killed by militants.
BSF personnel also
attacked a public coach
coming from Bandipora
and killed around 42
civilians. Two cases
stand registered in the
matter with Police Station
Sopore which were
referred for investigation
to CBI Delhi, but as of
2013 the fate of the cases
is unknown to public.
Response
The Indian government
initially claimed that the
high civilian casualties
were the result of an
intense gun battle
between the BSF soldiers
and militants in which an
explosives cache
belonging to the militants
exploded and spread the
fire to nearby buildings.
[1] However, the
government was later
prompted to initiate a
judicial inquiry into the
matter and was also
forced to suspend several
BSF officers due to the
widespread publicity that
the incident had
generated.[2]
One day after the
massacre, thousands of
Kashmiris defying a
government-imposed
curfew, protested against
the actions of the BSF
soldiers on the streets of
Sopore .[3] The then Prime
Minister Narasimha Rao ,
ordered state governor
Girish Saxena to visit
Sopore and announced a
compensation of £2,275
for the relatives of the
deceased.[1] However,
Muslim leaders, left-wing
politicians and Human
Rights organisations have
criticised Saxena for
failing to stop human
rights violations by the
security forces in Kashmir
and demanded a
parliamentary delegation
be sent to assess the
destruction. [1]
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