Kashmir in February: From Ajas killing to Kunan Poshpora rape episode
Like January, February is also an eventful month in the modern history of Kashmir.
In February, two sons of soil were hanged by New Delhi in Tihar Jail and their bodies were not returned to their families.
January is called as the ‘month of massacres’ in Kashmir while columnists and historian remember February as the ‘month of hanging’.
Here are some of the episodes that historians, authors and journalists have already documented.
Feb: 1, 1992: Indian Border Security Forces personnel killed at least six protesters during a crackdown in the premises of Markazi Jamia Masjid Ajas in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. The body of one of the slain man was taken away by BSF personnel and till date nobody knows what they did to that body.
Feb 3, 1998: This date will always haunt a Pampore family whose loved one was abducted by government gunmen and in return they got his dead body in pieces in a plastic sheet. The unfortunate victim was a businessman Ghulam Mohiundin Rigoo of Chandhara Pampore.
Feb 9, 2013: Today is February 9 and the young generation knows it well why there is shutdown across Kashmir. This day, the son of soil Muhammad Afzal Guroo was hanged to satisfy the collective conscience of Indian society. The hanging was sudden. Neither his family was informed nor his body was handed over to them. It is believed that former Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde known as ‘smiling assassin’ chose Afzal to give electoral benefits to his Congress party.
Feb 11, 1984: The believer of Kashmir Independence Muhammad Maqbool Bhat was hanged on this day. He is buried in Tihar Jail. On Feb 11, Kashmir will shut to remember this son of soil, but very few know when he was hanged, a socio religious organization from Kashmir suspended one of its District Presidents for holding a protest against his hanging. The Judge Neil Kanth Ganjoo who awarded death sentence to Bhat was later on assassinated by militants near Hari Singh High Street shortly after the eruption of militancy in Valley.
Feb 15, 1975: Even in the era of illiteracy there were people in Kashmir who were up in arms against Indian rule. There were people who opposed Sheikh Abdullah tooth and nail till their death. On this day, a pro-Kashmiri and the son of the soil, Ghulam Nabi Bulla, who was always an activist of Jammu Kashmir People’s League was put to death in police custody.
Feb 23/24, 1991: This date is related to Kunan Poshpora mass rape incident. A lot has been written about it and recently some promising female authors published their work on this fateful incident. Just search Kunan Poshpora in Google and you will get the information.
(Neyaz Elahi is associated with CNS. He can be reached at email@example.com)