Bijbehara Massacre: Victims' Families To Get Rs 4 Lakh Extra
23 September 2007
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Forteen years after the Bijbehara massacre, a Jammu and Kashmir court on Sunday ordered the state Government to pay an additional compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the victims. The court also directed the Government to release the money within the next three months. This is the first time that the court has directed the Government to pay additional compensation in a case of crossfiring. On October 22, 1993, 31 people were killed and 70 injured when troops of the BSF's 47 Battallion opened fire on villagers who were protesting against the Hazratbal shrine siege. A majority of the protesters were school students. A high-level magisterial inquiry later held the BSF's 47 Battalion accountable. Four years later, the victims' families registered a case against the BSF in the J-K High Court. Advocate G Qadir Bhat, who pleaded on behalf of the civilians, had sought a compensation of Rs 50 lakh. 'Those killed were young, their families had set high hopes on them. The killing proved to be a huge setback for them,' he said. The BSF, however, told the court that protesters had stopped two BSF vehicles near Bijbehara and some people had fired at the troops, in which one BSF personnel was injured. But Justice Hakeem Imtiyaz asked the Government to pay the additional compensation. 'Some of those killed in the incident wanted to pursue medicine, some dreamt of becoming Government employees and a few were the only hope for their families,' he said.