Everyone is aware of the barbarism that happened with Kashmiri Hindus in the 1989-90s, after which thousands of Kashmiri Pandits settled in the valley had to leave their homes and properties, and move to other parts of India for the sake of their families. But the inhuman incidents did not stop there, in fact, it never stopped, and the period of Hindu killings continued over the years. Kashmiri Pandits continued to fall prey to Islamic terrorists and thus were murdered year after year. In the massacres that happened in the month of June alone, many Kashmiri Pandits and their families got brutally killed by these terrorists, but their thirst for bloodshed was not quenched and the same kind of massacres continued.
June 19, 1998 Champnagri Wedding Massacre, 25 Hindus were killed
In an attack on a wedding party at Champnagri town, in the mountainous Doda district, 175 kms north-east of Jammu city, two bridegrooms and more than 20 wedding guests in a mountainous village were killed. 25 members of Hindu wedding party were singled out and shot dead, before the terrorists fled looting jewellery and cash with them. In the incident, seven others were severely injured.
As per police report, the killings took place on Friday afternoon, the June 19th when the wedding party returned to their village in Doda district. The entire group was fired on by a number of heavily armed terrorists, however, none of the terrorist groups then active in Jammu and Kashmir took over responsibility of the attack.
In the same year, in April, 26 Hindus were killed in a single attack on another village in the erstwhile state of J&K and four more were murdered similarly by in May.
Although the then authorities maintained that Islamic terrorists involved in the attack had the active backing of Islamabad, Pakistan always denied arming or funding them. The police too believed that Muslim Kashmiri separatists were responsible for the attack.
On the following day of the attack, All India Radio reported that police had identified the leader of the five-member gang responsible for the killings as a member of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen, the armed wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami separatist group.
It was the second big massacre of Hindus in 1998 in an area populated by both Hindus and Muslims. Shops and businesses in Doda district were closed for that day in protest against the massacre.
15 June 1997, Islamic terrorists pulled out three Kashmiri Hindu Pandits from a bus and shot them dead
After the gruesome attack, one Hindu who had escaped somehow later narrated the horrifying incident. All families were traveling in a bus when it was stopped by some armed men in camouflage uniform. The bus was on its way to Gool from Ramban and the attack took place about 7 km short of Gool.
It was 15th June 1997 when two armed terrorists after boarding the bus asked all Hindu passengers to get off the bus. All the passengers suspected the uniformed gunmen to be Islamic terrorists and not security force personnel but could hardly do anything about it.
At this point, some Muslim passengers vehemently objected and said that if Hindus were to get off the bus then they too would get off the bus but the terrorists quite calmly explained to the other passengers that the Hindus were not going to be harmed and they just needed to talk to them.
After a short while, when one terrorist began arguing with the Muslim passengers, other pulled out six men they thought were Muslims. The narrator was spared because he pretended to be a Muslim and said his name was Ashiq Hussain, although the terrorists accepted his word only after confirming the same from other Muslim passengers.
Subsequently, six Hindus were taken away on the gunpoint, of the six, two managed to escape somehow, while one jumped off a cliff the other one ran up a hillside. Remaining four were made to walk about 20 metres or so towards a nullah and were shot dead while one amongst them was set free who apparently was a local from Jammu. The three killed were Kashmiri Pandits.
Those killed were Susheel Kumar Bhat, a schoolteacher, Ravinder Kabu, a Lecturer and Ashok Kumar Raina, a principal. Also, all three were married.
This too was not the first of incidents in the area when Kashmiri Pandits were targeted, as only a few weeks ago in the same year seven pandits were taken out of their homes and shot dead by armed terrorists in the Valley.
More than 250,000 Pandits by then had fled the Valley to find themselves a safer place and even found shelter in refugee camps in Jammu. In the Doda district alone, targeted killings of Hindus had become very common. By now, hundreds of Hindus were killed since 1994 and Kashmiri Pandits had lost all hopes of survival or a mere protection from administration.
Udhampur June 4, 2001 Mahore massacre
In the month of May and June alone in 2001, there were incessant attacks on Hindus in various villages in Jammu, on May 12, 2001 terrorists kidnapped Rajesh Singh of Bharki village at gun point and fled to a forest area and the very next day bodies of a young woman and her 10 year old child were fished out from Chenab in Ramban.
The terrorists forced their entry into the house of Chuni Lal at Sunder Dachhan in Kishtwar on 16th May at about 12 Noon and shot him dead. Following a series of such targeted attacks the Islamists attempted to massacre Hindu civilians on June 4, 2001 at village Bathoi in Mahore.
Mahore tehsil of district Udhampur, is a Muslim-dominated area in Jammu and there have been multiple attacks on the Hindu minority of this tehsil like any other Muslim-dominated region.
On June 4th, terrorists broke forcefully in Onkar Singh's house, who was member of the Village Defence Committee (VDC), VDC were setup in the mid-1990s with an aim to strengthen the security of Hindus living in remote and mountainous areas of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramba, Rajouri, Reasi, Kathua and Poonch districts of the region as defense mechanism to the multiple targeted attacks on Hindus in the regions.
The members of these committees guarded the identified villages as well as the infrastructural installations in and around the village serving like a 'security arch' to defend remote and hilly villages against terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
Onkar was beaten up and his gun snatched, though he somehow managed to escape from the custody of the terrorists. Terrorists then turned to the house of Onkar's brother Lal Singh and knocked at the entry door. The moment Lal Singh's daughter Neelam who was 16 years old, unlocked the door, terrorists opened fire on her, injuring her critically. Lal Singh then fired in retaliation.
With the help of some other VDC members who had been injured in an IED blast at Serni Nullah Lal Singh foiled the massacre plan of terrorists.
However, instead of appreciating the bravery of Lal Singh and other five VDC members, an ASI posted in Gool Police Station had reportedly charged Rs 2000 each from Lal Singh and others. The matter although was reported to the senior police officers later.
The entire incident went on to show how the armed Islamists attack the Hindus and Hindus who rise in defense face administrative and police suppression by the Islamists occupying the authoritative positions.