Documents India

Attacks on Hindus in the Kashmir region between January 1, 2004 and December

(Note: The continued attacks by terrorists affect all residents in the area – Hindu, Muslim,

Sikh, police and army personnel, and civilian authorities. Army, police, and paramilitary

personnel tend to be overwhelmingly Hindu, reflecting the population characteristics of

the country. Below, we record only the attacks specifically in which Hindu civilians died

or were attacked and their property and places of worship destroyed. There are many

reports in which we could not access details regarding the religious affiliation of the

victims; thus, we have not used those reports. Since most Hindus have been forced from

the Kashmir Valley, the number of Hindu victims is correspondingly lower than that of

the number of innocent Muslim victims of Islamist terror.)

January 2004: On January 3, seven people were killed and 15 others injured at a Jammu

railway station:

Terrorist attack 7

Injured from terrorist firing 15

TOTAL 22

March 2004

March 9, 2004 — The Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly endorsed a long-standing

practice whereby women in the State lose their permanent resident status and right to own

and inherit property in the State after marriage to a non-local. Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus)

argued that this law is calculated to harm their interests and amounts to treating the State

as an entity separate from the country. The president of Kashmiri Samiti, an organization

seeking to protect Hindu interests, said that the step would mainly affect Kashmiri

Pandits who have been forced out of the valley and “have lost domicile rights.” Another

organization, the All India Kashmiri Samaj, termed the move as a “sinister design” of the

J&K government to “deprive” Pandit women of their constitutional rights.45 The

discriminatory nature of this law was recently elaborated upon by columnist Arvind

Lavakare. 46

April 2004: On April 20, six human rights activists traveling as election observers were

attacked. One person was killed and five others were injured in the attack. Among the

injured was Kumar Bharati, a journalist-turned human rights activist from Bangalore47:

Attack leading to death 1

Injuries 5

TOTAL 6

May 2004: On May 23, 29 Border Security Force personnel and their civilian family

members were killed and nine others injured when their bus hit an improvised explosive

device on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway. The Hizbul Mujahideen claimed

responsibility for the blast48:

Explosive attack 29

Wounding due to blast 9

TOTAL 38

June 2004: On June 12, terrorists tossed a grenade inside a restaurant resulting in

injuries to 22 persons. On June 23, 21 people including a policeman were injured in a

grenade explosion. On that same day, unidentified gunmen abducted a senior engineer,

Sudhir Kumar Pundir of Indian Railways Construction (IRCON), along with his brother

and two other men. The gunmen demanded a ransom of Rs. 5 million.49 The terrorists

subsequently killed the engineer and his brother by slitting their throats.

Kidnapping for ransom (followed by death) 2

Grenade explosion 43

TOTAL 45

October 2004: Attacks on two temples during Navratra puja, an annual festival, injured

one Hindu.50 Militants opened fire at two temples during the Navratra puja, an annual

festival, in Rajouri and Doda districts in Jammu and Kashmir. One girl was injured and

hospitalized. Militants attacked the Mangla Mata temple on the outskirts of Rajouri town

the night before, but no one was injured.

November 2004: There were five attacks against Hindus and their interests in the month

of November51:

Shooting 3

Seizure and shooting by suspected militants 2

TOTAL 5

The plight of Kashmiri Pandits, residing as refugees within their own country, is

illustrated in an essay by columnist Kanchan Gupta, who wrote on January 19, 200552:

There are no Kashmiri Pandits in Srinagar, or, for that matter, anywhere

else in the Kashmir valley; they don’t live here anymore. You can find

them in squalid refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi. As many as 300,000

Kashmiri Pandits have fled their home and hearth and been reduced to

living the lives of refugees in their own country.

Two-thirds of them are camping in Jammu. The rest are in Delhi and in

other Indian cities. Many of them, once prosperous and proud of their rich

heritage, now live in groveling poverty, dependent on government dole

and charity. In these 15 years, an entire generation of exiled Kashmiri

Pandits has grown up, without seeing the land from where their parents

fled to escape the brutalities of Islamic terrorism, a land they dare not

return to, although that land still remains a part of their country.

A large number of them are suffering from a variety of stress and

depression related diseases. A group of doctors who surveyed the mental

and physical health of the Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps, found

high incidence of “economic distress, stress induced diabetes, partial

lunacy, hypertension and mental retardation.” Statistics reflect high death

rate and low birth rate among the Kashmiri Pandit refugees.

And thereby hangs a tragic tale that has been all but wiped out from public

memory.

An entire people have been uprooted from the land of their ancestors and

left to fend for themselves as a weak-kneed Indian state shamelessly

panders to Islamic terrorists and separatists who claim they are the final

arbiters of Jammu and Kashmir’s destiny. A part of India’s cultural

heritage has been destroyed; a chapter of India’s civilisational history has

been erased…What has been lost is part of India’s Hindu culture, what has

been erased is integral to India’s Hindu civilisation.

Therefore, the government makes bold to record that the Kashmiri Pandits

have “migrated on their own” and their “displacement (is) self-imposed”;

the National Human Rights Commission, after a perfunctory inquiry,

refuses to concede that what has happened is “genocide” or “ethnic

cleansing”, though facts add up to no less than that, never mind that

300,000 lives have been destroyed.

 

Source : Hindu American Foundation 2005

 

 

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