By: Neyaz Elahi
Pattan , Aug 1, CNS: Complete Shutdown was observed on Tuesday in Pattan town of Baramulla district in memory of the 12 innocent people including two cops who were allegedly murdered by Indian Army in 1990 August 1.
The call for shutdown was given by a local committee. At least 12 persons including 2 cops were gunned down and 82 persons received bullet injuries when a unit of Indian Army part of convoy fired indiscriminately upon people present in busy Pattan market on that fateful day.
Narrating the incident, the survivors told news agency 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 bursted and Army personnel with their finger on triggers mistook it as a militant attack and they continuously resorted to firing that lasted up to 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 Hassan Bhat from main town Pattan said that he received all but 16 bullets and yet Almighty saved his life. “What I witnessed is inexpressible. After receiving bullets in arms, legs and lower party of belly, I lied in a gutter. I saw unbridled Army personnel directly targeting people. The dead bodies and injured were lying in a pool of 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 told CNS that on that fateful day an Assistant Sub Inspector Abdul Rouf and another cop Dilip Singh were present in the market. Rouf received at least 32 bullets and died on spot and same was the fate of cop Dilip Singh,” he said.
Another eyewitness from Pattan town said that after killing spree the army men 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 unbridled army men. Those days, Army were the virtual rulers in Kashmir and they were free to kill anyone. It sends chill down my spine whenever I remember this bloody incident,” he said adding that army snatched the life of his close friend, a barber by forte from Tangmarg area.
According to eyewitnesses Pattan town mourned the deaths for over a week. “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 Assistant Sub Inspector ASI Abdul Rouf, Constable Dilip Singh, Businessman Ghulam Hasan Zargar, Wali Muhammd Itoo, Abdul Rehman of Gohbugh, Habibullah Darzi, mentally disable Abdul Khaliq of Palhalan, and Nayeem Ahmed Sheikh from Buran Pattan.”
Army claimed that the civilians were killed in cross firing as militants attacked on their convoy. “An FIR vide number 124/1990 under section 307, 3/25 still stands registered in police station Pattan,” he said. (CNS)