Mass Murder of the Sikhs in Kashmir
Mass Murder of the Sikhs in Kashmir
Who planned this mass murder of the Sikhs in Kashmir (India), and why did it coincide with President Bill Clinton’s visit, only time will tell. A news report from Ms. Celia Dugger (The New York Times 3/22/00) does not identify the murders, but provides enough raw-material to challenge the Indian Government’s familiar version blaming the Kashmiri militants. For example:
1. President Clinton "condemned the attack, while cautioning against drawing conclusions about it until the identity of the murderers is known," thus distancing himself from the official Indian version.
2. The report mentions that "militant groups charge Indian security forces with committing the massacre to discredit them in the eyes of the world".
3. The report points out that, according to the police and residents of the small Sikh village of Chati Singhpora, "armed men, dressed in Indian army uniforms entered the village".
4. The report further mentions that "some villagers said they believed that the men who had come were security officers searching for militants."
5. The report quotes Pakistan’s foreign Minister, Abdul Sattar, saying : "we would very much like a very through inquiry or investigation to be conducted into this incident so that it is not exploited for purposes of propaganda in order to deflect attention from the Indian repression in Kashmir".
6. The leader of the Kashmiri group, according to this report, "denied involvement", and said "It is a deliberate attempt by the Indian secret agency by which it wants to tarnish the 55 years old freedom movement as a terrorist movement".
According to an Internet Mail (Charhdi Kala Weekly dated 3/25/00) : "The Hindu, daily newspaper, reported that the murderers in the Indian army uniforms chanted ‘Jai Hind, Aaj Hamarai Holi Hai," (Victory for India, today is our Holi).
Mr. Pankaj Mishra’s op. ed. article, "Pride and Blood in Kashmir", (NYT 3/22/00) underscored that "the news media, which are deeply nationalistic, are much less likely to report violence inflicted by the Indian state in Kashmir". He also mentioned about his conversation with an Indian security officer in Kashmir. This man, "A Kashmiri Hindu... wasn’t worried at the prospect of large number of Sikhs fleeing Kashmir", and claimed "he hasn’t let any separatist he has captured go alive", and that "I don’t I believe in this human rights nonsense." This shows the mind set of the Indian paramilitary forces, who follow the official policy of taking no prisoners.
As a matter of fact, the Indian intelligence and paramilitary forces, like the Russian intelligence, have specialized in staging clandestine incidents and instantly blaming on others. That was exactly what they did in the case of tragic Air India Flight 182, back in June 1985. Even before the plane had touched the ocean off the coast of Ireland, the news factories were printing the news of the crash blaming it on the Sikhs, based on a hoax telephone call from the Indian intelligence - which had obviously master-minded that tragic crash. Again, they had blamed "Five Sikh Men," for hijacking the Indian Arilines Flight 814 in December 1999. This lie had traveled around the globe, before the true identity of the hijackers was known. The Sikh nation’s protestations, in the absence of its sovereign status, were like a "cry in the wilderness."
Finally, the Sikhs and the Kashmiris are fighting for a common cause of self-determination for Punjab and Kashmir respectively. As such, there is no clash or conflict between the two. For the Kashmiris to murder the Sikhs is like the Albanians murdering the Kosovars or the Afghans murdering the Chechens.
This tragic situation calls for an independent investigation to find the truth, identify and comprehend the murderers, and to provide interim relief and compensation to the families of the victims. In the absence of that, the Sikh nation would hold the Indian Government, under Prime Minister Vajpayee, responsible for this barbarian act of mass murder of the Sikhs.
Prof. Gurcharan Singh (U.S.A.)
- Human Rights Network, P.O.Box 988 - JAF Station, New York, NY 10116.