26 September, 2020

23 Years After He Saw Wife, Son Been Shot Dead, Kashmir Man Still Begging For Justice

Twenty gunmen of the infamous Ikhwan group massacred Ghulam Dar's family for voting for National Conference. Two alleged killers are now on Kashmir police's radar

The Long Wait
Ghulam Dar lost several family members in the carnage
Photograph by Naseer Ganai
23 Years After He Saw Wife, Son Been Shot Dead, Kashmir Man Still Begging For Justice

“My heart has turned into stone. I no longer cry,” says Ghulam Qadir Dar as he enters his two-storey house in Saderkoot Bala, a village in north Kashmir. Here, 23 years ago, he had seen the bullet-riddled bodies of his family members. They were allegedly shot dead by around 20 gunmen of the infamous Ikhwan, a Kashmiri counter-insurgency group established by former militants. On May 7, the police ­arrested one of the accused.

The assassins were mostly from Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon, a faction which broke away from the separatist group Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen, and surrendered.  The former sided with the security forces to fight against Pakistan-backed Hizbul-Mujahideen militants in 1994. They were notorious for loot, plunder and murders of Jamaat-e-Islami J&K workers, which was seen as the political force behind Hizb in the early 1990s.

“Bullets pierced my wife Hajira and my son Abdul Salam’s heart. My daughter, Jawharia, was shot in the chest and nephew, Abdul Rashid Dar, had bullets lodged in his abdomen. I stepped out and saw more...



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