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Never forget these saheeds! Long Live Khalistan!

The names of some of the innocent Sikh villagers martyred by the Indian occupation forces in the remote village
of ChithiSinghpora in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. (TOI photo/Harish Tyagi)

 

Kashmir Liberation Cell Government of AJ&K, May 21, 2000

Indian govt behind Sikh carnage in Valley

WASHINGTON(From M. Afzal Khan)-Two human rights groups in East Punjab have said Indian government was responsible for massacre of 35 Sikhs in a Held Kashmir village last March, a prominent American lawmaker told the House of Representatives here on Wednesday.

Rep. Edolphuis Towns speaking in the House said a probe ordered by two groups, the Punjab Human Rights Organisation and the Movement Against State Repression, and conducted by two retired judges and a retired army general have "clearly and unambiguously found the blame for massacre of Sikhs of village Chatti Singhpora lay on Indian government and not Pakistan or the Kashmiri militants as alleged by India. The authors of the report, Justice (Retd) Ajit Singh Bains, and Justice (Retd) Justice (Retd) Inderjit Singh Jaijee and Lt.-Gen. (Retd) Kartar Singh Gill, conclude that the Indian government's counterinsurgency forces, which are run by the Indian intelligence service, RAW, are responsible for the massacre of Chatti Singhpora.

Towns quoted from the report which said: "It is our considered opinion that Pakistan or the Kashmiri militants have nothing to gain by ordering militants/mercenaries to massacre Sikhs in the Kashmir Valley." Pakistan had steered clear of this kind of act during 10-15 years of militancy in J&K, the group wrote. "Indian leaders however gained substantial mileage from this incident as a spate of international sympathy was forthcoming," the investigative team wrote. They noted that India's Home Minister, L.K. Advani, `was quoted as saying that three events brought a turn around in international opinion in India's favor. He mentioned Kargil, the hijacking of the Indian airliner, and the Chatti Singhpora incident.

According to the report, the people in the village of Chatti Singhpora 'did not believe that militants had any hand in this incident.' The report notes that `as a rule foreign mercenaries visit a village once and do not come back again. So these men cannot be militants. Also real militants do not part with their weapons even for a minute.' The killers wore military uniforms and chanted 'Jai Mata Di; Jai Hind,' a Hindu nationalist slogan. Rep. Towns noted that Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, and Mr. Advani had warned villagers against supporting militants. "Unfortunately, the Indian government is suppressing this information, and their friends in the democratic countries of the world are protecting them," he said adding that there must be a full, fair, independent, and complete investigation and the people responsible for this terrible atrocity must be prosecuted.

He also referred to the statement by India's Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan in which he admitted that 'security forces would not be punished for the killings of civilians. It would demoralise the troops who are fighting insurgency in different states.' This is a very revealing statement by an official of the Indian government. Perhaps this is why an allegedly democratic country needs a 'Movement Against State Repression.', Towns observed.

Towns said America is the beacon of freedom. America must not allow an allegedly democratic country to continue these activities. We must do what we can to help bring freedom to the people of South Asia. It is time to stop our aid to India until it lets the people within its borders enjoy the human rights to which all people are entitled. We should stop supporting India's anti-Americanism. And we should declare our support for an internationally-supervised, free and fair plebiscite in Punjab, Khalistan on the question of independence.

"We should also support similar plebiscites in Kashmir, in Christian Nagaland, and throughout India. This is the way to bring real freedom, peace, prosperity, and stability to South Asia. It will also gain us new allies in that troubled region." Towns placed on Congressional record selected portions of the report. At one point it notes: The facts narrated above clearly indicate that the visitors of Chithi Singhpora were not members of the security forces. Dress, language, careless handling of weapons and behaviour in general discounts the security forces. That they were militants, can also be safely ruled out because it is general knowledge that militants guard their weapons most carefully and would not visit a location repeatedly knowing that an RR post is located 3-4 kms away. The finger therefore points towards the so-called counter insurgents/renegades (surrendered militants). The description of the villagers, in fact, corroborates this assessment.

The fact that the RR Unit was located close to Chithi Singhpora and the statement of Principal Ranji Singh and teacher Niranjan Singh clearly indicated that the security forces know fully well about the identity of the visitors to Chithi Singhpora and did nothing about it. The statements of various individuals in Anantnag/Srinagar tallies with what the villagers narrated to the team. One man Karamjit Singh spoke a different language. He stressed in his statement that the killers were militants. Secondly his various actions indicate that he has an inkling that some force had come to kill on March 20, 2000 evening. His escape was miraculous in spite of his being addressed directly by the so called CO not to go home. He still escaped. In our opinion Karamjit appears to have been in some contact with the security forces. His migration to Jammu and his nervousness during the teams meeting with him clearly point to this.

The State Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah had asked for a Judicial enquiry into the Chithi Singhpora killings by a Supreme Court Judge. Instead, the Centre has ordered a judicial enquiry by Justice Pandhian into the Pathribal killings of five civilians and police firing at Brakpora. The Chithi Singhpora killings are to be probed by the Additional Judicial Magistrate only. This clearly indicates that the truth behind this Chithi Singhpora incident is not being/allowed to surface. We feel that a Central Agency directed this operation without the knowledge of the State Chief Minister and his Cabinet. This, therefore, is an act that needs to be condemned and a high-level probe ordered to punish the guilty.

The Sikh soldiers have been used disproportionately in Nagaland, Assam, Sri Lanka and all along in Kashmir. This tends to endanger the amity existing between the minority and local majority community. This has special reference to the good relations existing between the majority Kashmiri Muslims and the minority Kashmiri Sikhs in Held J&K.

 

Dawn, 24 March 2000 Friday
RAW accused of Sikh Genocide

WASHINGTON, March 23: Sikhs worldwide are blaming the Hindus and the Indian intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), for the brutal murder of 39 innocent Sikhs in Indian occupied Kashmir.

A major joint protest by Sikhs and Kashmiris has also been planned in Washington and New York in front of the Indian embassy and consulate on Thursday to protest the killings which, according to a leading Sikh leader, "killed three birds for New Delhi with one stone".

Ganga Singh Dhillon, President of the Nankana Sahib Foundation of USA and Pakistan told Dawn on Thursday "it was a very simple and very frightening" Indian intelligence agency RAW's job as they tried to pitch Sikhs against Muslims, stopped Sikhs from visiting Panja Sahib in Pakistan on the Besakhi festival and highlighted the violence against Indians at the time of President Clinton's visit.

Not one Sikh has ever been touched by the Kashmiri freedom fighters in the last 12 years. It needs no brain surgeon to analyse that this is an Indian intelligence agencies job," Dhillon said.

Dhillon, who will be one of the leaders at the New York demonstration against India on Thursday, said Sikhs from all over the world were holding rallies and protests against the killing which had exposed the "Chankiya-neti" or the Hindu strategy against the Sikhs and the Muslims.

Khalistan Calling, the popular and regularly published Sikh newsletter from Vancouver in Canada, said in its latest issue on Thursday "the finger prints and the usual stupidities of RAW were written all over the gruesome incident."

"We have no doubt, and neither do our contacts in Kashmir, both Indian and Pakistani and in Punjab, Khalistan, that the RAW orchestrated this mass murder to initiate ethnic cleansing of the Sikhs in Kashmir for the following reasons," Khalistan Calling said.

It gave the reasons as: to impress the visiting US President Bill Clinton that Pakistan was behind senseless terrorist violence, to create ill-will between Sikhs and Muslims and to encourage the migration of Sikhs from Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir as they dominate the transport business.



Paknews.com, March 24 (?), 2000

Motives behind Sikh killings

Dr Syed Inayatullah Andrabi

The ghastly murder of 35 Sikhs in Kashmir some days back has shocked the freedom-loving people in and outside Kashmir. Since the killings took place on the eve of President Clinton's visit to India, it made far more impact than otherwise it would have. The other reason for the big-bang effect was the fact that Sikhs had become the target for the first time during the ongoing movement in Kashmir. The unfortunate event has been widely commented upon during the past 3-4 days. Most of the commentaries have, however, chosen to focus on 'who did this?', and that is quite natural, because in such an unusual case this is where the human mind points first. Majority seems to agree on India being the real culprit in this blood bath. This is by the application of common-sense criterion 'who stands to gain from such an action?', and everybody, Indian analysts included, agrees that India and not the movement in Kashmir stands to gain from it. It is India's propaganda line that gets reinforced by such an action. To my mind, more than who did this, what is important to ask is 'why it was done?'. Future-oriented minds always rush to that side of the story. I am sure no body doubts that the plan was well thought through, there were definite, very serious and even long term (as opposed to ad hoc) motivations behind it. It seems to me that extremely criminal and sinister designs have motivated this action of Sikh-murder. I am, to my best ability, trying to understand what these designs could be, but so far not much is there for me to say with certainty, except of course a few observations that I can make now. But before doing that let me emphasise the point that digging into these designs is absolutely essential, if we want to safeguard the ongoing move for the liberation of Kashmir from India. We must know at every point what India is up to. Indian state is planning our destruction, that is our unshakable faith, but we must be always alert to see which new schemes are being contrive d.

The planners of the Sikh tragedy aimed at achieving two objectives: First, create a proper context in which the movement in Kashmir, Pakistan and Islam and Muslims in general could be demonised and maligned; and second, drive a wedge between the Muslim and Sikh communities. Both these points have been discussed by people on the net and in print media as well. But let me dwell on them further in order to bring out their true meaning.

The primary purpose of Sikh killings, as most of people have noted, was to malign the movement in Kashmir by portraying it as what India calls 'ethnic cleansing', as opposed to a genuine freedom movement. However a distinction needs to be made between maligning in real terms and creating an atmosphere that legitimises maligning. President Clinton, or for that matter any responsible person not to talk of a head of state, forms a definite opinion about various events and realities on the basis of authentic research-based reports.

What is Kashmir struggle, Bill Clinton and his administration, know it reasonably well. They have so many avenues of information (at times looking mind-boggling), well-funded institutions for its processing and analysis leading to formation of definite opinions and formulation of policy lines. A single event as that of the murder of 35 Sikhs cannot bring about a real change in Clinton's perception of the movement in Kashmir: hitherto he thought it is a freedom movement, now he believes it is for ethnic cleansing. If all of us, and even the so-called man on the street, can quickly smell a mischief in such an action as the killing of Sikhs, why can't Clinton, who being a president knows full well what the states do in pursuance of their political objectives. How dirty and criminal acts are ordered by the state. So the present event did not really change Clinton's opinion, but it did something equally sinister: it provided the necessary context in which Clinton could say what he did, and also Vajpayee. So far Clinton endorsed India's condemnation of terrorism, but this had remained confined to generalities; after the Sikh massacre it came down to specific, namely, to cross-border terrorism. This is what India wanted. Furthermore, Clinton said that violence must end (referring to the massacre) before India's dialogue with Pakistan can start. Now, one can reasonably presume that this is what Clinton had planned to say in the first place, but he could have not without some spectacular event taking place highlighting the reality of 'violence and cross-border terrorism'. Once the event took place, it, in a way, legitimised what Clinton said. Similarly, Vajpayee talked about the menace of terrorism, and in front of President Clinton at Hyderabad House, pledged to root out this menace saying that India had, both, resources and the will to do so.

These statements were not mere utterances of words, they were a deliberate expression of future intentions. For example, Clinton taking up the issue of Pak support to Kashmir movement with the leaders in Pakistan. Whether they will budge or not, will be clear, not so much by their verbal response to it, but by the ground situation in Kashmir as it develops in the next six months or so.

Likewise, when Vajpayee pledged to 'root out the menace' he was articulating his plans to come down on the movement with a further heavier hand, something that will match Vladimir Putin's barbaric campaign in Chechnya. This campaign, one must note, created a dangerous precedence: movements for independence, howsoever genuine they are (the Chechen struggle for example which has 400-year history) can be crushed by a full-scale war using tanks, air power and everything else that is used in an inter-state war. The world at large allowed Putin to carry on by silently watching
the genocide, and India openly supported its (Russia's) 'fight against terrorism'. It should be recalled that the present bloody campaign in Chechnya was initiated after a series of bomb blasts in Moscow, in which scores of Russian civilians were killed. Russia squarely blamed Chechen fighters for these killings, and Chechens in turn denied any involvement in these acts of terror. However these bombings could successfully create anti-Chechen feelings in Moscow, and could provide the context for an extremely bloody campaign that Russia was to launch later. Vajpayee might have same ambitions in his mind when he talked of 'will and means' to eliminate terrorism. By expressing these ambitions at an important function and before the head of the 'only superpower', Vajpayee was seeking endorsement of his destructive plans. All this could happen because the atmosphere was highly charged and conducive to every kind of tough talk. The dog had received the bad name and now the question before Vajpayee and his guest was how to hit it. This is essentially what the massacre of 35 Sikhs did.

Another no less important purpose was to sow discord between Sikh and Muslim communities. In order to understand its real import, one has to go beyond Kashmir. Sikhs are a well-knit community, anything that happens in Kashmir will have repercussions outside Kashmir and outside India as well. For the Brahmin state of India the factor of Sikh-Muslim relations is extremely important both internally as well as externally.

Historically, Sikhs were made into the muscle of the Brahmin to deal with the 'outsider' Muslim. This Brahmin-devised arrangement worked well, and Brahmins got rich dividends from it in 1947. With the emergence of the popular independence movement of Sikhs in the '80s, and its brutal repression by the Brahmin state, things started changing. Sikhs identified Muslims as their fellow oppressed, and the Indian state as the common oppressor. Sikh-Muslim amity logically translated into Sikh-Pakistan amity.

Things went that far, that last year during Kargil fighting when a wider Indo-Pak conflict became imminent, patriotic Sikh leaders started articulating a radical position, namely, the soil of Punjab will not be allowed to be used for war with Pakistan anymore. This created serious doubts in the minds of India's ruling elites regarding the political loyalties of Sikhs: at a critical time as that of war, Sikh loyalty cannot be taken for granted. The recent massacre has started influencing these changing equations.

Only the other day, there was a joint procession by Hindus and Sikhs in Delhi calling each other brothers and Muslims as the enemy. The Brahmin state of India stands to gain a lot from Sikh-Muslim discord. The BJP government in Delhi has already been trying with some success to engineer anti-Sikh changes in the Akali politics, SGPC (the highly resourceful organisation responsible for the management of Sikh gurdwaras) and Akal Takht (the highest Sikh religious seat).

The recent Kashmir episode will help further accelerate this process, that will have a negative effect on the growing movement of Sikh self-assertion. Sikhs already missed the bus in 1947: at the demise of British empire they could not provide their hard-working and brave nation the protective umbrella of an independent state; they could have as did the Muslims. Now they have woken up, made lots of sacrifices, but the danger is that Brahmin machinations may once again mislead them by a death embrace. Kashmir massacre has this potential.We have to stop this from being realised. Sikhs world-wide and all freedom and justice-loving people, Muslims on top of them, have to work towards this goal.

The writer is convenor-in-exile, Mahazi-Islami, Srinagar, Occupied Kashmir

 

Dawn, Friday, 24 March 2000
Killings to depopulate Valley, says report

NEW YORK, March 23: The massacre of 39 Sikhs in Kashmir is part of a larger Indian plan to de-populate Kashmir of Sikhs and Hindus so that India's security forces will have a free hand to deal with Muslims, observes an Indian writer in an Op-ed piece in the New York Times on Wednesday.

The writer, Pankaj Mishra, who was present at the site of massacre, says: "I met a middle-level officer from Border Security Force, a paramilitary organization fighting the Muslim insurgency. He was a Kashmiri Hindu, and he wasn't worried at the prospect of large numbers of Sikhs fleeing Kashmir in the way the Hindus had done after becoming the target of Muslim freedom fighters. "Isolate the Muslims in Kashmir," he said, "and then we'll be free to deal with them," Mishra quoted him as saying.

The Indian security officer "thought that all Kashmiri Muslims for autonomy were traitors and that Pakistan's henchmen deserved no mercy." I don't believe in this human rights nonsense," the Indian security force officer told Mishra. "Do you want us to fight Pakistan with one hand tied behind our back?" This general view echoed a very popular solution to the Kashmir problem. The military arms of all-powerful political authorities in New Delhi have been used to suppress regional discontent.

Mishra, the author of the book "The Romantics", says "few people seem bothered that this crackdown undermines the very foundations - democracy and secularism - of the Indian State. The impulse toward regional autonomy is always identified with secessionism, as a Pakistan-fomented plot to break up India. The presence of an unstable and fundamentally hostile neighbour further deepens the Indian sense of being under siege, and pushes the country, in Kashmir at least, into what looks like an endless cycle of violence."

Chiding the India media for not reporting accurately on the human rights situation in Kashmir, Mishra notes the Indian "news media, which are deeply nationalistic, are much less likely to report violence inflicted by the Indian State in Kashmir. The one-sidedness cannot but have disturbing consequences in a poor, semi-literate country where national greatness has become dangerously confused with nuclear bombs and military strength, where rivalries of class, caste, region and religion have enfeebled democratic institutions in recent years."

Mishra says "it seems unlikely that India could solve the Kashmir problem by defeating Pakistan-backed freedom fighters or by getting the US to denounce Pakistan. For peace in Kashmir to become even a possibility, India would have to renew its commitment to democracy and human rights."


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