What is the truth behind the Gawkadal massacre

Chittisinghpura Massacre - Chittisinghpura massacre

Fatal shooting of 35 Sikhs in India

The massacre in Chittisinghpura refers to the mass murder of 35 Sikh villagers carried out on March 20, 2000 in the village of Chittisinghpora, Anantnag district, Jammu and Kashmir, India, on the eve of US President Bill Clinton's state visit to India.

The identity of the perpetrators remains unknown. The Indian government claims that the massacre was carried out by the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Other reports accuse the Indian army of the massacre.


Tired of carrying Indian army, the killers came to the village in military vehicles in two groups at separate ends of the village where the two gurdwaras were located while the villagers were celebrating the Hola Mahalla festival. They ordered them to line up in front of the Gurdwaras, opened fire, and killed thirty-six people.

The massacre marked a turning point on the Kashmiri issue at which Sikhs were usually spared militant violence. After the murder, Syeed Salahudeen, a Pakistani-based leader of the largest militant group in Kashmir, Hezboll-Mujahideen, condemned the massacre, accused India and assured the Kashmiri Sikh community of the militants' support.

After the massacre, hundreds of Kashmiri Sikhs gathered in Jammu, shouting anti-Pakistani and anti-Muslim slogans, criticizing the Indian government for failing to protect villagers and demanding retaliation.


Five days after the murder, the Indian army stopped and killed five people near Anantnag. They claimed they were the Pakistani perpetrators of the Chittisinghpora massacre, although reports surfaced that they were local villagers. After a public outcry, the government ordered the victims' genetic identification, but the tissue samples that were sent to a genetic laboratory in Hyderabad were found to be falsified. A subsequent public inquiry found that the victims were all random onlookers unrelated to the massacre.

In an introduction to a book written by Madeleine Albright entitled The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God and World Affairs (2006) , Hillary Clinton accuses “Hindu militants” of perpetrating the act. This led to a major incident in which both Hindu and Sikh groups expressed outrage. Clinton's office did not return calls asking for comment or clarification. The publisher, Harper Collins, later admitted a "failure to verify the facts" but did not offer to withdraw.

A Mohammad Suhail Malik from Sialkot, Pakistan, confessed to having participated in the attacks on Lashkar-e-Taiba in an Indian custody in 2009. He repeated it in an interview with Barry Bearak from the New York Times, although Bearak questioned the authenticity of the confession. Suhail Malik was a nephew of Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba. However, he was later acquitted of these charges by a Delhi court.

In 2010, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) official David Headley, who was arrested in connection with the 2008 Mumbai attacks, told the National Investigation Agency that the LeT carried out the Chittisinghpura massacre. He is believed to have identified a LeT militant named Muzzamil as part of the group that apparently carried out the murders to create community tensions shortly before Clinton's visit.

In 2005, Sikh organizations such as the Bhai Kanahiya Jee Nishkam Seva Society requested a more detailed government investigation into the details of the massacre and the investigation published. The state government ordered an investigation into the massacre.

In popular culture

The massacre was portrayed in a Bollywood film Adharm ("Unholy") directed by Adeep Singh.


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See also