4th Nov 1989, When Justice Neelkanth Ganjoo was brutally killed in broad daylight by JKLF terrorists, 30 Yrs of planned and organized secessionist-terrorism
History has seen countless incidents. Human memory forgets grief with time but time never forgets. It keeps updating but keeps record of everything with date. We may not remember what pain the date tells but history has all.
4th November, yes it is just a date, a date of injustice and helplessness as it tells us the story of stains of country’s past. Kashmir which has headed towards development now has many stories of past to tell and one of them is of today. Yes, 4th November 1989,it’s the date when The honorable Mr. Justice Neelkanth Ganjoo,judge of JK high court was brutally assassinated for his courageous effort at that time. Ganjoo, a judge and prominent Kashmiri Pandit had earlier given death sentence to Jklf terrorist and founder Maqbool Bhat.
On 4 November 1989, 3 JKLF militants shot him dead in broad daylight in the Hari Singh Street market near the high court in Srinagar as he had presided over the Amar Chand murder trial, and declared sentence of death on Maqbool Bhat in August 1968. The JKLF had meticulously executed this murder scripted by ISI and their spokesman later officially acknowledged that the killing was done to avenge the judge’s role in the death sentence of Maqbool Bhat.He was killed as he raised a voice against inhuman and separatist forces and for years we saw things happening. The accused of his murder, including separatist Yasin Malik were free for years protected by the militant forces of the valley. It was a trend those times of killing innocents in the name of religion in Kashmir.
Ganjoo is still seen as a shaheed among the pandits with a hope that they will be able to return to their homeland. Many people like him who were killed had their respective stories.30 years have passed but the incidents still look recent. Pandits believe that their sacrifices will not go in vain. The separatist movement in that era which was run by Pakistani and anti-Indian forces was created to occupy the territory but the Pandit community people got their lives in danger and yet one gets Goosebumps recalling that period.
That era had militancy at its peak when announcements were made from mosques for the Pandits to leave valley and an atmosphere of fear and insecurity was created. Many families lost their homes and many lost their people, hundreds of unreported cases of violence took place and somewhere the lack of strong governance caused the situation to become more catastrophic.
Kashmir which was seen as heaven was turned hell in the 90s.While the Hindus there had only 0.4% hold in state govt. jobs. The election of 1987 was a turning point which totally unleashed the Islamic terror in Kashmir. Supported by Pakistan, their aim was to occupy Jammu and Kashmir and anyone they considered a hurdle would be threatened to leave the state or brutally killed Voices of prominent personalities, either Hindu or Muslim were shut up by the heinous people.
In December 1989, when Rubbia Saed, daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. {Who was cabinet minister of India that time}was kidnapped by JKLF,and they demanded to free 5 militants in exchange of her and the demand was accepted. This shows us mind set of the state govt. of that time which explains about the leadership in Kashmir at that time.
Panun Kashmir, an organization working for displaced Hindus, published a list of around 1341 Hindus who were killed by Jihadi terrorists in the course of armed insurgency in the Valley in 1990.Posters were pasted outside the houses and mosques threatening Hindus to accept the anti-national movement leave the valley or else face the consequences. Announcements were made from mosques like prayers saying Hindus to leave the valley as soon as possible, many left and many went out of time and were murdered. The Jammu based organization- Panun Kashmir claims that over 25,000 houses of Hindus have been burnt. After the departure, their houses remained abandoned in the Kashmir Valley. Wrongdoers looted household goods, furniture, kitchenware, accessories, electronic gadgets, small libraries, papers, files and documents. Sanitary fittings, Taps, and even the doors and windows of their abandoned houses were taken away, stolen and sold. The temples also faced the violence, many were destroyed and many can be still seen as shanty in the valley.
30 years down the line, Kashmiri Hindus feel nostalgia. They can’t forget that time of fear .Some want to return while some don’t. Government is planning for that. There are different opinions even among Kashmiri Hindus on the question of going back to their homes in Kashmir valley. Some want a separate Hindu colony while some just want to be back at home once again. Clearly, it is a black spot on the history of Indian democracy which is not removed or cleaned till now and even after three decades the stain neither has faded nor changed it colour, it’s still dark.
Dark like the policies of anti-nationals and pseudo nationalists, politicians and activists we see nowadays. They shamelessly criticise our army, government and its good policies just to be a flunkey of the so called liberals and left. May be due the darkness and the illusion in their eyes they cannot see what is happening and what the Hindus of Kashmir faced. That may be the reason they have sympathy for the JNU liberals including the new age actors. It is the need of the hour that they should come out of this illusion and accept the reality and also talk about the displaced Hindus of Kashmir who are living like refugees in their own country from last three decades instead of just arguing over refugees of other country and their human rights. It is very strange that these patriots don’t feel for the pandits but when it comes to any aspect where they can show their nationalism, they start telling about their struggles of life. One can never get rid of the past but one must learn from it.
Kashmiri Hindus also have learnt much now and are hoping towards for a better and positive future. People have hopes from the current government that it will definitely work to wash off the dark and black stains of the Past of the valley and the displaced community will have a better future in their homeland.