In 1990, it was the time when the entire Kashmir Valley was demanding freedom from India and protesting against the atrocities of Governor Jagmohan’s oppressive regime, that a procession of over 1500 protesters headed towards the Srinagar office of the United Nations to submit a memorandum seeking freedom from India.
According to reports, the Zukoora And Tengpora Massacre was the killing of protesters calling for the implementation of a United Nations resolution regarding a plebiscite in Kashmir at Zakoora Crossing and Tengpora Bypass Road in Srinagar on 1 March 1990, in which at least 47 people were killed and dozens injured. It led Amnesty International to issue an appeal for urgent action on Kashmir.
On March 01 1990, most of shopkeepers at the crossing were holding peaceful protests when a convoy of five Indian Army vehicles led by three Junior Commissioned Officers was returning from Sonamarg to Srinagar but found the road blocked near the crossing.
Three policemen, guarding the crossing, asked the Indian soldiers to wait till the protesters pass. This led to a heated argument between the policemen and soldiers.
“An Army official told the cops ‘give way or we’ll shoot you’,” the shopkeepers said. “Within minutes, the convoy turned towards the demonstration and the soldiers opened fire from three machine guns fitted over the vehicles.”
Sources say about 11 people died on the spot, and many more succumbed to their injuries on way to the SK Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura. Witnesses told GK that 26 civilians were killed and some 50 more injured in the incident, which is today remembered as the Zakoora massacre.
The mayhem lasted for three hours. None from the civil administration came to the rescue of people.
Twenty-one more people were killed at about 5 pm by the Indian Army soldiers who fired at a bus near Tengpora on the same day. They too were unarmed. The dead included five women.
Next day, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International issued an appeal for urgent action on Tengpora and Zakoora massacres.