Aftermath of Gawkadal massacre
After the Gawkadal massacre on 21 of the Januay 1990 were Fifty two unarmed civilians were massacred by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) tens of thousands of people from Handwara were heading toward Handwara Chowk to protest aganist the Gawkadal massacre which killed 55 which took place just 3 days before.
27 MUHARRAM-UL-HARAM 1430 AH ; SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2009 CE:-Nineteen years after Handwara district witnessed one of the worst massacres in the history of occupied Kashmir, people still remember the bloodbath by the troops of Indian Border Security Force (BSF).
Twenty-five protesters were killed in cold blood by the paramilitary BSF troopers on January 25, 1990.
“I along with around tens of thousands of people was heading toward Handwara Chowk. When the procession crossed Handwara Police Station, troopers coming from opposite side jumped from their vehicles and without any warning turned their barrels at us and fired indiscriminately,” said Ghulam Rasool who was part of 25 January 1990 procession in Handwara when 25 people were killed.
Rasool said that he and others were protesting against human rights violations and serial crackdowns in Gaw Kadal area of Srinagar when without any provocation troopers opened fire at them. “Suddenly people hit by bullets were falling in front of me. Some of them died on the spot. Many others were critically injured.”
While recollecting what happened on the day, a survivor, Nazir Ahmed said, “Thousands of people from Handwara and other adjoining areas raising pro-freedom slogans assembled in the town to protest against the Gaw Kadal massacre, where 55 persons were shot dead by the troopers just few days before.” He said that BSF troopers continued indiscriminate firing on people for three hours. Hundreds of troopers cornered the demonstrators from every side and emptied their magazines on their chests.
Another survivor, Fayaz Ahmed said that the mere thought of that day sends shivers down his spine. “The BSF troopers had gone mad. Doomsday cannot be worse than what I wave witnessed. Within minutes bodies were piled on streets and blood was scattered everywhere,” he added.
The locals said “Instead of allowing us to construct a memorial where the carnage took place, occupation authorities constructed a bunker there to add insult to our injuries.” “Their memorial should be built in the main Chowk so that our future generations don’t forget the history,” they added.