Sikhs seek probe on Chattisinghpora massacre

Srinagar: Welcoming the Supreme Court observations in Pathribal killings, the All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Tuesday sought intervention of the highest court of the country for conducting a time-bound inquiry into the killing of 36 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora in south Kashmir in 2000.
“We have written letters to Chief Justice, Justice B S Chauhan and Justice Swatantra Kumar, hearing Pathribal case, and urged them to direct authorities to conduct a time-bound inquiry into the killing of 36 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora few days before the fake encounter of Pathribal,” APSCC Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said here.
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s condemnation of the Pathribal incident (killing of five civilians) in March 2000 and terming it as a skeptical encounter. All those responsible for it should be brought to book,” Raina said.
In March 2000, 36 Sikhs were massacred in Chattisinghpora village on the eve of the arrival of then US President Bill Clinton in India for an official visit.
Army claimed to have killed the “five militants involved in the massacre” few days later but a CBI probe has concluded that the deceased were innocent civilians. The premier investigating agency filed a charge-sheet against five army men including a Brigadier in a civil court, but Army challenged the move in higher courts on the grounds that sanction for prosecution has not been sought as required under AFSPA. The matter is pending before the Supreme Court as Army has got no relief from the sub-ordinate courts.
The APSCC chairman said inquiries ordered by the Government and security agencies in the past have failed to unmask the persons responsible for the massacre.
“So far the committees formed by the Government have failed to produce any results. Now we urge the Supreme Court of India to give directions for a fresh probe in the killings of the 36 innocent Sikhs. If they fail to do so, it will be injustice with the Sikhs of Kashmir,” he said, adding, “If Chattisinghpora case is solved, the other cases related with it will be automatically solved. Chattisingpora is the base case for all inquiries including the Brakpora killings.”
He also demanded ‘National Victim Status’ for the families of 36 Sikhs killed at Chattisinghpora, as they, he said, not only stayed back in the valley but also strengthened communal harmony.
Referring to the Pathribal killings, he said, “The bodies of the five persons were burnt and hastily buried in a nearby village and their innocence was proved by Justice Pandian Commission. The inquiry report also revealed that their bodies were charred beyond recognition.”
The decision to write letters to SC Judges was taken at a meeting in which heads of various Sikh organizations including Ajit Singh Mastana, Daleep Singh Deepak, Sant Singh, Niranjan Singh, Dr. Joginder Singh Shan, Dr. J.S. Bali, Harjit Singh, Devinder Singh and several other leaders participated.

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