Nadimargh Massacre Survivors Boycott Voting
5 May 2004
Muthi camp: Survivors of the 2003 massacre of their near and dear ones by the Lashkar-E-Toiba (LeT) in the non-descript Nadimargh hamlet today did not cast their votes as they feel that elections had been reduced to a meaningless exercise. The cold-blooded massacre had taken place on March 24, 2003, sometime after the last assembly elections in which people of the hamlet had voted for the present State Home Minister, Abdul Rehman Veeri. The survivors, who number 32, said that soon after the massacre a lot of promises were made to them by the Chief minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, his daughter Mehbooba and Veeri. Jyoti Pandita who lost five family members in the massacre said that the survivors were promised the moon after it but pointed out that they were neither given a job, shelter or confidence to live. 'We decided not to vote today as we have been shunned both by the coalition government in the Jammu and Kashmir and the Centre,' said M L Bhat, who lost three of his family members in the massacre. 'We have decided not to vote in today's polls as we have been shunned as human beings by the coalition and the central governments', Nadimargh survivor, Bhat told PTI here today Bhat, who lost three family members in the massacre, said 41 out of 59 population had voted in favour of Veeri for peace, safety and security in October 2002 elections in the Chief Minister's Bijbehwra assembly constituency. 'What we got in return? The cold-blooded massacre of our 24 people. The policemen deployed by the Home Minister had escaped before the militants engineered the massacre,' Bhat, who kept away from voting along with 31 other survivors, said. Jyoti pandita added, 'we are forgotten martyrs of India. We are not any vote-bank. All the survivors are without any shelter putting up with relatives, even after one year of massacre. Then why vote? For whom to vote? For us elections are now meaningless.'