Remembering the Victims of the 1997 Nawroz Massacre in Sangrampora: A Tale of Tragedy and Resilience

Sheikhzada Daniyal
4 Min Read

In the annals of human history, there are moments of unspeakable horror that stand as stark reminders of the capacity for cruelty. One such moment occurred on the rain-soaked night of March 21st, 1997, in the serene village of Sangrampora, nestled in the heart of Kashmir. What transpired that fateful evening would forever alter the lives of its inhabitants and leave an indelible scar on the collective memory of the community.

Sangrampora, once a tranquil hamlet where Hindu and Muslim families coexisted harmoniously, became the site of a brutal massacre that claimed the lives of seven innocent Kashmiri Hindu civilians. Among the victims was the beloved school teacher, Late Shri Avtar Krishan Pandita, whose name would forever be etched in the annals of history as a symbol of unwavering compassion and dedication to education.

For the children of Sangrampora, Pandita Ji was more than just a teacher; he was a mentor, a guide, and a beacon of hope in a world fraught with uncertainty. Despite belonging to a minority community in the predominantly Muslim region of Budgam district, Pandita Ji went above and beyond his call of duty to nurture young minds and foster a spirit of inclusivity and understanding among his students.

His kindness knew no bounds, as he reached out to impoverished Muslim children, providing them with not just education, but also basic necessities such as medical care and grooming. His altruism was a testament to the universal values of compassion and empathy that transcended religious divides.

Yet, on that fateful eve of Nawroz, a celebration of spring and renewal, the tranquility of Sangrampora was shattered by the arrival of armed militants hell-bent on sowing seeds of terror and division. Armed with hatred and prejudice, they embarked on a rampage, targeting Kashmiri Hindu men indiscriminately.

The men of Sangrampora, pleading for mercy and invoking their shared humanity, were met with scorn and brutality. Forced to march in the darkness, drenched by the relentless rain, they were herded like cattle to the slaughter. Stripped of their dignity and their clothes, they faced a hail of bullets that extinguished their lives in an instant.

The aftermath of the massacre left an entire village in mourning and disbelief. The once-thriving community of Sangrampora was reduced to a ghost town, its streets haunted by the echoes of unspeakable violence. The survivors, both Hindu and Muslim alike, were left grappling with the trauma and the loss of their loved ones, their sense of security shattered by the specter of hatred.

Yet, amidst the darkness, there emerged flickers of resilience and hope. Every year, on the anniversary of the massacre, the people of Sangrampora come together to honor the memory of the victims and to reaffirm their commitment to unity and peace. Though physical distance may separate them, their bonds of solidarity remain unbroken, a testament to the enduring power of community and compassion.

As we reflect on the tragedy of Sangrampora, let us not succumb to despair, but rather, let us draw strength from the resilience of its people. Let us remember the victims not as statistics, but as individuals whose lives were cut short by senseless violence. And let us pledge to never forget their sacrifice, as we strive to build a world where such atrocities are relegated to the annals of history, never to be repeated.

Share This Article