Justice continues to elude to victim families of Sopore Massacre from past 23 years whose near and dear ones lost their lives at the hands of Border Security Forces personnel in Apple town Sopore in North Kashmir way back in January 6, 1993.
At least 57 innocent civilians were put to death by BSF on that fateful day when they went on a rampage after a militant allegedly snatched a riffle from a trooper.
Shortly after the incident, BSF troopers from 94th Battalion butchered 57 civilians. People who are witness to that gruesome massacre still shiver while narrating the ordeal. They say marauding troopers dragged a SRTC bus (JKY-1901) driver out from the vehicle and pumped bullets into the bodies of passengers killing 20 of them on spot. “After killing the passengers, the troopers started spraying gun powder, petrol and kerosene on the surrounding buildings and then torched them.”
“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 gutted buildings there were some landmark buildings like Women’s Degree College and Samad Talkies.”
“On that fateful day a blast rocked New Colony Sopore early morning. Everything was normal when we heard a single gunshot. When people started running for cover, more gunshots reverberated in atmosphere. 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 militant had snatched a riffle from a BSF trooper and to avenge that incident, they targeted innocent civilians,” said eyewitnesses adding that casualties could have been in hundreds if Jammu Kashmir Police did not and stopped the marauding troopers. “A local police officer saved more than 20 civilians who were trapped in a gutted building,” they said.