CBI confirms identity of 33 of 57 civilian killed in 1993 Sopore Massacre

On January 6, 1993 the BSF set ablaze the main market Sopore and indiscriminately fired upon civilians, allegedly killing 57 people after a militant had, as per reports, snatched a rifle from a BSF trooper.

Of the 57 civilians killed in the 1993 Sopore massacre by the BSF, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has confirmed the identity of 33 civilians.
A rights activist, Ahsan Untoo in his petition to State Human Rights Commission had produced a list of 51 civilians allegedly killed by the BSF. But the CBI in its verification report submitted to the Commission confirmed the identity of 33 persons killed in the Sopore massacre.
The report of the CBI states, “The list of 51 victims submitted by the complainant was cross checked with the records collected by the CBI during investigation and it was found out that out the 51 persons, names of only 33 figure in the investigation record.”
On January 6, 1993 the BSF set ablaze the main market Sopore and indiscriminately fired upon civilians, allegedly killing 57 people after a militant had, as per reports, snatched a rifle from a BSF trooper.
The security forces, as per reports, had dragged an SRTC bus driver out of the vehicle and pumped bullets into the bodies of the passengers killing 20 of them on spot.
“After killing the passengers, the BSF personnel sprinkled gun powder, petrol and kerosene on the surrounding building and torched them,” the locals recall.
After the massacre, government set up a one man commission of inquiry on 30 January 1993 comprising of Justice Amarjeet Choudhary. Between 30 January 1993 and 30 April 1994, the commission visited Jammu and Kashmir only once.
The CBI was tasked with the investigation in January 1993 and it took it 20 long years to carry out the investigation.

All guilty were punished: BSF report
In a report to State Human Rights Commission, the Border Security Forces (BSF) has stated that the guilty personnel in the 1993 Sopore massacre were punished.
The BSF has said that it had identified nineteen BSF personnel involved in the massacre in which fifty seven people were killed.
“An enquiry was initiated by the BSF, General Security Force Court (GSFC) into the incident and the BSF communicated the result of inquiry proceeding vide letter no. 06/1/93-CLO/BSF/5733 dated 11.10.2001 mentioning that the erring BSF officials /officers have been tried by the GSFC (Court Martial) under the Border Security Act, 1968 for commission of offences u/s 304, 307 and 436 RPC r/w section 34 of RPC and punished and sentenced accordingly.
“Staff court of Inquiry (SCOI) was conducted by the BSF in the firing incident of 6 Jan 1993 in which 19 BSF personnel were blamed for various acts of commission and omission.
The personnel identified were: Prakash Singh, B.B Joshi, Ajaib Singh, Charan Singh, Sudama Rai, Sanjay Kumar, Raj Kumar, S.N Singh,Baljeet Singh, Mohan Singh, Tej Raj Singh, Ranvir Singh, Chur Chand Sharma, Vachaspati Sharma, Mohan Lal, Umesh Pal Singh, Rajender Kumar, Virender Singh and Purshotam Singh.
The report of the BSF submitted before the State Human Rights commission following a petition by chairperson International Forum for Justice /Human Rights, Ahsan Untoo states, “Proceedings were initiated against them in accordance with the BSF Acts/ rules and records of evidence (ROE) were conducted against them except HC Sanjay Kumar who died before the ROE could be ordered.
“On completion of the ROE, the charges were dismissed in respect of LNK Baljeet Singh, Const Umesh Pal Singh, Const Virender Singh and Const Purshotam Singh for want/lack of evidences against them.
“However seven personnel were tried by GSFC (Court Martial) for offences u/s 304, 307, and 436 RPC read with section 34 of RPC and after completion of trial they were awarded punishment.
Apart from this, “one personnel was tried by separate court, two others expired during pendency of disciplinary case, and one was dismissed from unit. The charges against four were dismissed, administrative action was taken against one officer and three officers were dismissed after completion of the trial.
“Sub Inspection Sudama Rai was awarded punishment of forfeiture of three years of service for the purpose of promotion and severe reprimand, LNK (now HC) Raj Kumar – forfeiture of one year of service for the purpose of promotion, pension and severe reprimand, Ct Chur Chand Singh- three months’ rigorous imprisonment in force custody, and Ct Tej Ram Sharma, Rajender Kumar, Mohan Singh and Vachaspati Sharma each were given three months’ rigorous imprisonment.
“Prakash Singh,” the report of the BSF states, “was tried by a separate GSFC U/s 40 of the BSF Act and was sentenced to forfeiture of six months of services for the purpose of pension and was also severely reprimanded.
“HC S.N Singh expired during pendency of disciplinary case, hence no action was taken against him. Similarly Const. Mohan Singh was dismissed from his service and administrative action was taken against BB Joshi.”
The report states, “Thus all the accused persons that were found guilty during the court of Inquiry and records of evidences proceedings were tried by the GSFC under BSF Acts and rules and based on the findings the court awarded sentence to them.”