SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today made a fresh demand for establishing a truth and reconciliation commission in the state for addressing the issues related to both Pandit and Muslim communities affected by over two-decade-long violence.
“Whether it’s the Kashmiri Pandit exodus or incidents like Gawkadal, they R why India & Pakistan owe J&K a truth & reconciliation commission,” Omar wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.com.
In March 2011, Omar as the Chief Minister, had suggested setting up of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to probe the deaths and destructions in militancy-related violence in Jammu and Kashmir, though his suggestion never saw the light of the day.
On this day in 1990, 52 civilians were killed when security forces allegedly opened fire on a procession at Gawkadal here. The protestors, belonging to the majority Muslim community, were demonstrating against the alleged high-handedness of security forces in the city.
After the eruption of militancy, Kashmiri Pandits left their homes in the Valley and migrated to other places, including Jammu. The community observed 25 years of the mass exodus on January 19.
Omar, apparently referring to PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was Union Home Minister at the time of the Gawkadal incident, said “the architect of the #Gawkadal massacre negotiates his coronation & conveniently remains silent, choosing not to acknowledge this dark day”.
Meanwhile, shops and business establishments in and around the business hub of Lal Chowk, including Gawkadal, remained shut due to a strike called by separatist groups.