Srinagar: The US President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit of India has caused fear psychosis and panic among the Sikhs of Kashmir Valley as they are reminded of the ‘horror’ of the night of March 19, 2000, when as many as 35 members of the minority community were massacred by gunmen in Chattisinghpora village of southern Anantnag district during the then President Bill Clinton’s official visit of the country.
Stating this, Jagmohan Singh Raina, chairman of All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), an amalgam of J&K’s Sikh organisations, said that the Sikhs of the Valley have to face such fearful situation whenever a high profile foreign personality, especially, that from the USA visits India.
“The whole India seems to be busy in making preparations for Trump’s visit, but for Sikhs of Kashmir, the visit has brought in fears that the members of the community are yet again on the radar. The Sikhs are feeling insecure and they fear that something untoward might happen on the eve of Donald Trump’s visit,” Raina said in a statement here on Saturday.
In 2000, on the intervening night of March 19 and 20, when the then US President Clinton was in India, 35 Sikhs were shot dead by gunmen in Army uniforms after descending to Chattisinghpora.
A local woman had also died of cardiac arrest on seeing piles of bullet-riddled corpses of the victims, raising the toll to 36.
The authorities had blamed the gory incident on separatist militants.
Five days after the massacre, Army and J&K police had claimed that five perpetrators were killed in an encounter in Anantnag’s Pathribal area and all of them were foreign terrorists.
But later, it turned out to be a fake encounter and all the five slain men were unarmed civilians, who were picked up by the forces from different areas of the district earlier. Subsequently, at least, ten persons were also killed after security forces opened fire on the people protesting against the fake encounter in Anantnag’s Brakapora area.