Table of Contents
   Secessionist Movements
- Article 370
- Interim Government
- The Plebiscite Front
   Muslim Militancy
- The Gathering Storm
- War of Attrition
   Disinformation Compaign
- Political Alienation
- Muslim Precedence
- Economics of Militancy
   Genocide of Hindus
- The Minorities
- Quit Kashmir
- Darkness at Noon
- The Exodus
- Ethnic Cleansing
   Search for Refuge
- Leave Salary
- Scorched Earth
   Book in pdf format  

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


Chapter 4
Genocide of Hindus


The rumblings of the storms which engulfed the Hindus in Kashmir were heard, long before it burst. Right from the beginning of the year, 1989, the non-Kashmiri Pandit Hindus in Kashmir, professionally a trading community, were served with notices to quit Kashmir because they were Indian Hindus, and had acquired interests which impinged upon the rights of the Muslims in the Valley. The trading interests all such Hindus had, were nominal and did not form even one per cent of the trade and commerce, the Muslims in Kashmir controlled. About thirty thousand in number, most of the Hindus were petty shop-keepers, professionals, technicians, forwarding agents and business executives. They had no conflict of interests with the Muslim middle class, of which they did not even form a fringe. The threats administered to them were mainly the part of a plan to dislodge them from the Kashmir and since they were not Kashmiri Pandits, it was easier to flush them out. 

The threats were followed by bomb-blasts in their homes and business establishments. In several townships many of their shops and residential houses were set on fire. Rumours were spread around and many reports appeared in the local vernacular press in Srinagar that the non-Kashmiri Pandit Hindus were plotting against the Muslims in the State and were recruiting Hindu youth to the ranks of the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and Shiv Sena. The allegations were baseless, first because the non- Kashmiri Pandit Hindus formed an apolotical microscopic section of the Hindu society in Kashmir. The threats administered to them were, therefore, part of a political plan to dislodge them from Kashmir. They had during the entire period of turmoil after 1947, never been involved, unlike the Kashmiri Hindus, in any political crisis in the State and had kept scrupulously aloof from the political developments in the State. Their number was so infinitesimally small that they could never dare to do anything which earned them the hostility of the Muslims. Slowly the threats began to have their effect and many of the non-Kashmiri Pandit Hindus sold their residential houses and shops at throw-away prices to eagerly waiting Muslims who were provided funds to purchase the properly by Muslim financial agencies along with several other Muslim organisations in the State. By the time the militants opened up their main attack on the Kashmiri Pandits, the non- Kashmiri Pandit Hindus had already been dislodged from the Valley. 

While the militants maintained pressure on the non-Kashmiri Pandit Hindus, they opened up their assault on the Kashmiri Pandits. The main militant organisations intensified their compaign of hatred and villification, which the Jamit-Islami, Jamait-ul-Tulba, the People's League and the Muslim United Front and its various factions had already been carrying on against them. The secessionist organisations used the Muslim mosques for mass propaganda and called for a Jehad against the traitors who opposed the secessionist movement in the State and served the Indian interests. Claiming to fight for the liberation of the State from Indian imperialism, they called upon the Kashmiri Pandits, the Hindus and other minorities to join their struggle, promising them protection to which they would be entitled as a minority in a Muslim State governed in accordance with the precept and precedent of Islam. In the villification compaign, the entire Urdu press, controlled and financed by the Muslim middle class factions, ideologically committed to the disengagement of the State from India and the pro-Pakistan financial agencies and organisations, joined to denounce all those people who did not support the militants as the traitors to the Muslim nation of Kashmir and its freedom from the Indian yoke. The Urdu press, largely blamed the Hindus of having usurped the right of the Muslims to opt for Pakistan and having helped India to annex it by fraud and force. Several of the Urdu dailies and weeklies, published materials derogatory to the Hindus, full of invective denegrading their history and culture. Most of these all bursts were hysteric in their denunciation of the part, the Kashmiri Hindus had played in neutralising the struggle of the Muslims, for self- determination. Throughout the summer of 1989, many dailies and weeklies carried notices and warnings addressed to the people who supported secularism and Indian unity and the accession of the State to India, to prepare for the day of their reckoning. 

While the propaganda campaign of the press intensified, the various militant organisations began to administer threats to the Kashmiri Hindus, by serving them with notices asking them to stop their anti-Muslim activities and prepare to leave the Valley. Most of these notices were delivered to them in the darker hours of the night or pasted on their compound daors or sometimes sent by mail. In the initial phases, most of the Kashmiri Hindus maintained scrupulous silence aver the threats they received, partly because they were hardly prepared to face a situation in which they were pitted against the Muslims, partly because they expected little help from the Muslim administration of the State, which was as hostile to them as the militants and partly because they still believed that the Indian security organisation was strong enough to deal with any threat the Muslim extremists posed. Many of the Kashmiri Pandits, however, conveyed their fears to the State Governor and the Govermnent of India. Alarm was also raised by some national newspapers about the menacing strength the terrorists were fast gathering. The State administration took no note of the psychology of fear, militancy had created aboundantly and, in fact, castigated many well meaning citizens for overreacting to a situation which did not deserve much attention. 

At several places the business establishments, temples and residential quarters of the Kashmiri Hindus were subject to attack. In the more remote villages, where the population of the Hindus was sparse, many temples were desecrated and the adjoining land belonging to many temples forcibly occupied. In many places the Kashmiri Hindus were counselled to abandon their religion and join Islam. Dumb-founded, the poor folk endured the insults and injuries without demur. Inside their conscience, however, they were hurt and feelings began to grow among them that they could no longer live safely with their faith in their ancestral land and the choice before them was conversion to Islam or unbearable harassment and death. 

In many villages, the terrorists exacted large sums of money from the Hindus in the form of a taxes, which the heathen were bound to pay for their protection in a Muslim State. Hundreds of Kashmiri Hindus were also confronted with the charge of having acted against the cause of the Muslims. Many of them quitely left their homes and after hiding themselves for sometime, managed to escape the dragnet of death. Many of them paid for their freedom, payings, huge ransom, before they were allowed to leave. Many of them, however, failed to make good their escape and lost their lives.     

White Paper on Kashmir



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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
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