Thursday, February 25, 2021

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CONSPIRACY OR COINCIDENCE? Chittisinghpura Massacre and Killing Of West Bengal Labourers In Kashmir?

On October 29 evening, five West Bengal labourers were shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. This attack happened on the day when a delegation of European Union (EU) Parliamentarians were visiting the volatile region after the scrapping of Article 370 of the constitution. 

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The labourers hailed from Murshidabad in West Bengal. Identified as Kamaluddin, Mursalim, Rofik, Noimuddin and Rofikul, the five labourers were inhabitants of Bokhara in Bahal Nagar under Sagardighi police station in West Bengal and had come to Kashmir about one month ago. The injured person was identified as Johiruddin who later succumbed to injuries.

All the labourers worked as masons and were constructing a house when the attack took place in Kulgam’s Katarsu, which is known to be dominated by Hizbul operatives.

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Jammu and Kashmir Police sources told ANI, “Security forces have cordoned the area and a massive search operation is going on there. Additional security forces have been called in. Labourers killed by terrorists were working as daily wagers.”

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to extend help to the families. “We are shocked and deeply saddened at the brutal killings in Kashmir. Five workers from Murshidabad lost their lives. Words will not take away the grief of the families of the deceased. All help will be extended to the families in this tragic situation,” Mamata Banerjee wrote on Twitter.

It is noteworthy that an almost identical attack happened back in 2000 in Kashmir when the then US President, Bill Clinton was visiting India. The attack happened in the Chittisinghpura village of the Anantnag district, resulting in the mass murder of 35 Sikh villagers.

The Indian government blamed the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks who New Delhi says were sponsored and trained by Pakistan. Clinton’s visit was the first by any US President in 22 years and the attack preceded Clinton’s arrival only by a few hours.

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The massacre was a turning point in the Kashmir issue, where Sikhs had usually been spared from militant violence. After the massacre hundreds of Kashmiri Sikhs gathered in Jammu shouting anti Pakistan and anti Muslim slogans, criticsing the Indian government for failing to protect the villagers, and demanding retaliation.

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The similarity in the way both the attacks were carried out are strikingly similar. Did these attacks take place to transmit a message to the western leaders or was it  conspiracy by Indian agencies as Pakistan claims?

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