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Girija Tickoo murder: Kashmir’s forgotten tragedy

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ASHISH TRIPATHI
Right Winger, an army brat, interested in issues of society(particularly middle class), like to have realistic view (equidistant from pessimistic as well as optimistic).

After the Kashmiri Pandits Exodus on the 19 January 1990, the Jihadi terrorists sponsored by Pakistan were constantly attacking the Kashmiri Hindus who didn’t flee the valley and various reports of atrocities keep coming quietly. When tragedy became the new normal for Kashmir, the public with a very limited memory ignored many stories of pain and anguish; one heart wrenching unfortunate story was of Girija Tickoo’s brutal rape and murder that happened thirty years ago in June 1990.

Girija Tickoo was a Kashmiri Pandit married woman from Bandipora and worked as a laboratory assistant at a government school in the Kashmir valley. She fled the Kashmir region alongwith her whole family and settled in Jammu in the aftermath of the “Azadi Movement” by the JKLF(Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, headed by Yasin Malik) militants. One day, she received a call from someone who told her that the communal separatist movement in the valley had subsided and she can come back and collect her salary dues. She was assured that she would return home safely and the area was now safer.

In June 1990, Girija set out to return to valley, collected her salary dues from the school and headed to her local Muslim colleague’s home to pay a visit as she was visiting the area after long time. Unknown to her, she was closely tracked by the Jihadi terrorists who kidnapped Girija from the home of her colleague and took her to an unknown place while keeping her blindfolded. Apart from that colleague, all other people in the locality either watched silently when she was being abducted in front of public, or were okayed to see this, for they believed that she was a ‘Kaafir’ and hence they shouldn’t think too much for her.

After few days, her dead body was found roadside in an extremely horrible condition, the post-mortem reported that she was brutally gang-raped, sodomized, horribly tortured and cut into two halves using a mechanical saw while she was still alive. Yes, an alive woman was cut apart into pieces by the sharp saw, right from the middle of her body! It’s impossible to imagine her pain, agony and cries that she must have undergone during the unthinkable ordeal. Just try visualising it, if you can, even the 2012 Nirbhaya case brutality wasn’t that worse.

The Human Right activists, the courts and the governments did not respond to this gory killing and no arrests were made, nobody even was specifically named for this crime. The hyperactive omnipresent mainstream media didn’t broadcasted her story, as they do for crime against certain communities, for several years. No placards were written to seek justice for her, no protests, no outrage, zero zip nada! The only mentions this shameful atrocity received was on the websites displaying the stories of Kashmiri Genocide and in the book titled “Beyond Terrorism- A New Hope for Kashmir” by former Congress Cabinet minister Salman Khurshid.

A young woman in her twenties, who worked as laboratory assistant, no connection to politics, WAS THAT SUCH A CRIME TO GO THROUGH SUCH A HATEFUL BRUTALITY? Probably the only crime was that GIRIJA TICKOO WAS AN INDIAN, A KASHMIRI PANDIT, A HINDU Woman, so nobody sought justice for her or to see her culprits get punished. There were many similar cases in the Kashmir since 1989-90, where the jihadi mob carrying not only the terrorists, but sometimes neighbours and colleagues of PARTICULAR COMMUNITY came in large numbers shouting ‘Aazadi Aazadi’ slogans outside Hindu homes, forced their entry inside and then raped Hindu women and immediately shot down Hindu men, few others were so terrorised that they had to convert to Islam to save their lives and dignity of their women and daughters.

Since then valley became hotbed of terrorists and the once famed Heaven-On-Earth has turned into Hell of bloodshed and hatred for its original natives. Even after three decades, being a Kashmiri Pandit is still a crime in the Kashmir in 2020, as demonstrated by Jihadi terrorists organisations in the recent brutal murder of the Sarpanch Ajay Pandita just a few weeks ago.

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ASHISH TRIPATHI
Right Winger, an army brat, interested in issues of society(particularly middle class), like to have realistic view (equidistant from pessimistic as well as optimistic).
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