Kashmiris mark ‘Sopore Massacre’

People in Northern Kashmir have marked the 20th anniversary of the alleged Sopore Massacre of more than 50 Kashmiri civilians by Indian forces in 1993, Press TV reports.

Kashmiri veteran leaders called for businesses to shut down on Sunday in a move to commemorate the killings.

On January 6, 1993, Indian security forces killed 55 civilians in Kashmir’s town of Sopore following an incident where a member of the forces was shot dead in an ambush by militants.

Nazir Ahmad Shala, who was an eyewitness to the deadly massacre, told Press TV, “It is hard to forget the horrific incident. Our family members were killed by security forces… No one has been punished so far. Security forces opened indiscriminate fire on civilians in supermarkets and set shops and houses alight. Some shopkeepers were burned to death.”

Human rights groups have been demanding an independent and impartial investigation into the deadly incident.

Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, the chairman of Human Rights Forum in Kashmir, said, “We demand an independent investigation by human rights activists and state-run human rights commission, so that the culprits are identified and prosecuted.”

Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 60 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the region in full, but each only has control over a section of the territory.

Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count, although other sources say the death toll could be as high as 90,000.