The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik on Wednesday called for complete shutdown in Sopore town on January 6 to mark the 25th anniversary of Sopore massacre in which forces had killed about 55 people.
The separatist leaders in a joint statement appealed the international community to investigate the Janaury 6, 1993 Sopore massacre and other similar incidents in Kashmir and identify the force personnel involved in the war crimes.
They expressed their sympathies with families of those who lost their loved ones or whose houses and shops were burnt to ashes on that fateful day.
“The great nations never forget their martyrs and continue their struggle for which these martyrs have sacrificed their lives,” they said and appealed all the conscious people to assemble at Jamia Masjid Sopore after the afternoon prayers on January 6, where a program would be held by the joint leadership.
The leaders said humanity may have never witnessed such a “heinous crime, when a toddler snatched from the lap of his mother was thrown into the flames and when the hapless mother protested, she too was silenced forever by the bullets.”
“Whole town was in rubble, houses and shops were turned into ashes and horror stories and ghastly tales were all around which shiver a person down his spine,” they said.
They said troops on the fateful day also fired and burnt a bus en-route to Bandipora, killing and burning alive all its passengers.
“This killing of 55 innocents, setting on fire 120 houses and 350 shops was a unique New Year gift to the people of the State in 1993,” they alleged.
They said Sopore has a distinction of being politically mature and emotionally affiliated with the freedom movement and “January 6, 1993 massacre was just an act of revenge to subjugate and suppress the population.”
While calling for shutdown in Sopore on January 6, the separatist leaders called for organising congregational prayers for the martyrs in Jamia Masjid Sopore after Zuhar prayers to commemorate and pray for those killed in the massacre.