The slaughter at Shopian, Kashmir

As this article in Kashmir Life points out, what happened at Shopian, the full story of the massacre of six civilians traveling in different cars, the execution of two militants, & the possible forced disappearance of others is not yet fully understood. Partially because the army version doesn’t have an ounce of credibility but mainly because there weren’t enough local witnesses to the slaughter since it happened at 8:00 at night.

There is a credible account according to local sources which is not mentioned in this article. It explains that eight, not six, civilians were murdered by the army. They were local fruit businessmen working at local storage cold rooms to pack apples & were traveling late night back to their respective homes. While nearing an army camp, the occupying forces indiscriminately fired on the first vehicle, killing five, & then fired on a following vehicle, killing three. The occupying army attempted to portray them as Over Ground Workers (OGW) & resistance fighters to justify the extrajudicial executions of unarmed civilians. Compare this to the army version elaborated in this article where fruit workers & businessmen are morphed into gunmen. It still isn’t entirely clear how the two resistance fighters were murdered. The massacre of civilians may have been part of covering up those crimes.

This article is useful, not for its elaboration of the confusion, but because it describes something about who the executed young men were. They were beloved family members & friends whose lives were cut short by professional butchers & thugs. A complete strike shutdown is going on in Shopian to protest the massacre. It’s likely Kashmiri human rights activists will be investigating & we will eventually learn what happened & exactly how many died. But we know enough already about the barbaric & violent character of the Indian military occupation to stand with Kashmiris & to demand the end of the occupation & self-determination for Kashmir.