A few days back in Kishtwar (a town in Doda district in J&K state), Chandrakant Sharma was murdered, along with his guard, presumably by pro-Pakistani Islamist terrorists who operate in the state. Not surprisingly, there was total silence from the same brigade who, within hours, had organized all manner of candle-lit vigils for Gauri Lankesh. I have nothing against those vigils, and would have even attended one of them if it was nearby, but I do have something serious against the LACK of any such attention for Chandrakant Sharma.
Who was Chandrakant Sharma? I will answer this question in one line at the end of my article.
Most people do not know the story of this man.
Let us rewind our memories to the time period from 1995 to 2006. Terrorism (euphemistically called “militancy” by some) was at its peak in the state. Massacres of Hindus was going on throughout the state. Most people remember the massacres of Kashmiri Pandits at places such as Wandhama, Nadimarg – the organization Panun Kashmir has published a list of over 1300 Kashmiri Pandits massacred in J&K.
However, what is a little less known is that one more district OUTSIDE the Kashmir valley was also highly targeted by the terrorists for ethnic cleansing of Hindus so that it could be added to a future Islamic state carved out of J&K. That district was Doda. Throughout the 90s and 2000s, there were several massacres of Hindus in Doda. A few headlines from that time period are still preserved on the internet.
Over 300 Hindus massacred in Doda in last 7 years (article dated 1 Sep, 2001)
2001 Kishtwar (Doda) massacre of 17 Hindus (Note that the killer recorded in his diary that he had killed 17 ‘Kafirs’).
A partial list of other Hindu massacres in Doda is in the following table. This list was provided to the Times of India by the brigadier commanding in that area, (now retd.) Major General G. D. Bakshi.
|Date||Number and Location of Hindus Massacred|
|August 14, 1993||18 Hindus were brought down from a passenger bus and shot dead at sarthal forest area in kishtwar|
|September 18, 1994||Six Hindu boys murdered at Batholi (Gandoh)|
|January 15, 1996||17 Hindus killed at Barshal|
|July 25, 1996||15 Hindus killed at Sarwadhar|
|June 19, 1998||25 people of a Hindu marriage party murdered at chapnari|
|July 28, 1998||16 Hindus killed at Channa-Thakari|
|August 3, 1998||35 Hindus killed at Kalaban-Sharundi|
|June 20, 1999||16 Hindus murdered at Lihota|
|August 1, 2000||14 Hindus murdered at Gund-Phugal|
|February 10, 2000||16 Hindus killed at Kotechadwal|
|July 21, 2001||14 Hindus at killed Cherji-Badadhar|
|August 3, 2001||15 Hindus killed at Shrotidhar|
The above are just those killed in the period 1993-2001, when terrorism may be said to be at its peak.
However, the killing of Hindus did not stop there. In 2006, two days before proposed talks between the Government and Kashmiri separatists, 35 Hindus were slaughtered, just to show the Bhartiya government what the terrorists think of such attempts at “peace with the Kafirs.”
The end result of these massacres was exactly what the terrorists wanted: Hindu Dogras from Doda started an exodus towards Himachal Pradesh. Many families left the region, fearing for their life. A Kashmiri Pandit-like exodus was underway.
Now, we come to Shri Chandrakant Sharma, gunned down by terrorists few days ago. On a TV program, (retd.) Major General G.D. Bakshi informed the audience that Shri Sharma worked very closely with the Indian army to:
1. Identify and locate the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists who were responsible for the Doda massacres (before the 2001 time frame).
2. Bring back the Dogra families from Himachal Pradesh. He personally travelled there and used persuasion, giving confidence in the Army’s ability to protect them, to bring these families back.
Now I will answer the question asked at the beginning of this article: who was Chandrakant Sharma?
The answer is: He was a patriot; a patriot who had devoted his life to helping the local community in Doda, protecting them from terror attacks; and to helping our Army to protect these people and locate the LeT terrorists who were targetting them for ethnic cleansing. Shri Sharma was the kind of brave and dedicated son that Bharat Mata is proud of, and has very few of. This patriot, this fearless and devoted Bharatiya, was gunned down by terrorists in Doda.
And on the TV program, you can see that various Muslim leaders are justifying his murder. And blatantly so. Not even behind closed doors. Is this secularism in Bharat?
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