On Friday, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court ordered the reopening of the case concerning the Nadimarg massacre in which 24 Kashmiri Pandits were brutally murdered in the Pulwama district. The incident happened in March 2003 when the Kashmiri Pandits were murdered by Islamist terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba. A case (FIR No.24/2003 for offences under Sections 302, 450, 395, 307, 120-B, 326, 427 RPC, 7/27 Arms Act, and Section 30 Police Act) was registered in Police Station, Zainapora in connection with the massacre and investigations were taken up.
This is after the state government had issued an application seeking recall of an order which had dismissed a criminal revision petition in December 2011 which challenged a lower court order.
“It seems that during the pendency of the trial, the prosecution moved an application before the trial court seeking permission to examine material prosecution witnesses on commission. According to the prosecution, these witnesses had migrated out of Kashmir Valley and they were reluctant to depose before the trial court at Shopian in view of the threat perception”, Dhar said stating the reason for the application dismissal by the sessions judge on February 9, 2011. However, when it was challenged in High Court via Criminal Revision petition, it was dismissed as well.
The judge meanwhile also rejected the contention of terrorist Zia Mustaffa who is considered to be the mastermind of the 2003 massacre, that the judge cannot review its own order by highlighting the difference power of recall from the power of review of the judgment.
The Nadimarg massacre
On March 23, 2003, 24 Hindu Kashmiri Pandits in the village of Nadimarg in Pulwama District of Jammu and Kashmir were killed by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists. The armed militants came dressed in counterfeit military uniforms and dragged the Hindus out of their homes, lined them and shot them with automatic weapons.
The victims, 11 men, 11 women, and 2 small children, ranged from a 65-year-old to 2-year-old. The policemen posted there fled the scene. The killers disfigured the bodies of the victims, looted their houses, and took away the ornaments from the bodies of the dead women.
Following the slaughter, an FIR was filed in Zainapore, and seven accused people were brought before the Court of Principal Sessions Judge, Pulwama, following an inquiry. The case was later transferred to the Shopian Court of Principal Sessions Judge.
While Kejriwal called it a “juthi kahani” and NCI INDIA called it propaganda here we are after 20 years where the court seems to take cognizance of the unfortunate event that the Kashmiri Hindus faced in their own homeland.