The helpless Sikh community
IT is said that March is the month of blossoming flowers and blooming leaves but for the Sikh community every year this month brings back the memories of those 36 innocent Sikhs who were brutally massacred in the Chittisinghpora village of Anantnag district of IIOK some twenty years back.
That was 20th of March 2000 when those helpless ones were celebrating the Hola Mahalla festival with their relatives.
Suddenly two groups of military vehicles arrived there and within no time they all were surrounded by dozens of Indian army personnel. They ordered them to line up and turn their faces to the wall of a Gurdwara.
Within seconds the bullets fired by the Indian army personnel tore their bodies apart.
As per tradition the Indian government put the whole blame on Pakistan and as well as on the Kashmiri militant groups struggling for the independence of their territory.
It was officially stated that the men dressed up in Indian army uniform did not belong to the Indian army; they were the Mujahideen.
According to different media reports after this brutal massacre hundreds of Kashmiri Sikhs gathered in Jammu and raised slogans against this cruel military action.
Instead of holding some inquiry and looking into the matter, the Indian government exerted all its force in proving that it was all done by Pakistan’s supported Mujahedeen.
To prove government’s baseless stance, five days after the massacre, in another incident the Indian army stopped and killed five Kashmiris near Anantnag, claiming they were the Pakistani perpetrators of the Chittisinghpora massacre. This incident added more oil to the already blazing fire of hatred.
An uncontrollable wave of agitation engulfed the whole State of Jammu and Kashmir. The government had to start official inquiry of the second incident also.
That inquiry revealed that the five persons killed by the security personnel were all local villagers with no relation with the massacre.
However these two episodes of the massacre proved eye-opener to the Sikh community which was earlier misguided by the notion that the Sikhs had nothing to do with the warlike situation in Jammu and Kashmir as it is the result of conflict between the Muslims and the Hindus.
Just to pacify and calm down the Sikh community a ‘confession-drama’ was staged under the directions of the RAW and a person was presented before the media who confessed his involvement in the massacre.
His name was Suhail Malik and he allegedly belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba.
A senior journalist of The New York Times Barry Bearak openly expressed his doubts regarding the authenticity of his confession. He said that confessions made in custody of the security forces have no legal value.
Madeleine Albright, the first female United States Secretary of State in U.S. history penned down a book titled ‘The Mighty and the Almighty’ somewhere in 2006. In that book she also accused “Hindu Militants” of perpetrating that massacre.
It is also a point to be noted that these two incidents took place at the time when President Bill Clinton was on his official visit to India.
The horrible massacre was planned just to give President Clinton a fake impression that India was facing a lot of troubles because of ‘Pakistan’s supported’ militant organizations.
Luckily that mumbo-jumbo tale of Pakistan’s ‘adventures’ could not convince the US President.
The end of this whole story proved more depressing and disappointing to the Indian planners when the matter was brought to a court of Delhi where Suhail Malik was acquitted of the charges levied upon him.
However, some paid-sections of the Indian media tried all their best to keep the matter alive by criticizing court’s decision through their fake and false reporting.
This false and baseless propaganda move didn’t stop even after the acquittal of Suhail Malik till the year 2017 when Lt. Gen. (R) KS Gill turned the whole table upside down in an interview to Sikh News Express. He was a member of the team investigating the massacre.
Journalist Jasneet Singh was the interviewer. Gen. Gill told the Sikh News Express that the Indian Army was involved in the massacre and the report had been submitted to L.K.Advani who was the Home Minister then. The army was guilty, not the commanders, but till the Captain level.
When Jasneet Singh asked: was there any action if the army was involved, Gen. Gill replied, “The full report was prepared. We said the army was involved. We asked for a judge of the Supreme Court to look at it.
Nothing happened; there was chaos… Police had to shoot at people. Then the government decided not to investigate.”
The General further said, “The only reason behind all this was that the BJP government wanted to tell Clinton that in Jammu and Kashmir Pakistan is killing people. That time America was providing arms to Pakistan.
India was not getting any aid.” In short a drama was staged just to defame Pakistan. The same cock and bull story is still going on.
From Mumbai Attacks to the Pulwama Tragedy and From Samjhota Express burning to Pathankot attacks, the Indian Intelligence agencies are sacrificing their own people just to defame Pakistan.
Be it Muslims or the Sikhs and even the Christians; the Hindu extremists are pushing everyone into the blazing inferno of hatred and prejudice.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Multan.