27 years ago on 1st Sep 8 people were murdered by police in Khatima

On September 1, 1994, police fired indiscriminately at protesters demanding statehood in Khatima in Udham Singh Nagar, resulting in seven deaths. This was followed by the Mussoorie incident on 2 September in which six people were shot dead by Provincial Armed Police personnel.

The demand to grant Uttarakhand a separate state arose even before the independence of India. Also in British rule, the demand for a separate state was raised after a session in various places. But even after independence, it took many years for Uttarakhand to gain separate state status. And after many years of struggle and many sacrifices, Uttarakhand was granted the status of an independent state on November 9, 2000.

On the night of September 1, 1994, the police arrested five rioters who were on a hunger strike in Jhulaghar on Mall Road. On the morning of September 2, agitationists held a silent procession to protest the shooting of Khatima and the detention of the hunger strikers. Arriving in Jhulaghar, the police and PACs opened fire on the innocent and unarmed protesters.

Two women, Hansa Dhanai and Belmati Chauhan, died at the scene after being shot in the head during the shooting. Four other rioters and police officer Umakant Tripathi were also shot. These included Rai Singh Bangari, Dhanpat Singh, Madan Mohan Mamgain and the young Balveer Negi.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Umakant Tripathi, who was injured by a police bullet, succumbed to his injuries at St Mary’s Hospital. A curfew lasting approximately a fortnight was imposed from September 2, denying people access to even essential goods. Along with this, 48 ​​people were captured and sent to Bareilly jail. Hundreds of people were injured.

Hukum Singh Panwar, who led the movement in Mussoorie, was taken by police to Bareilly jail on 2 September. His young son, lawyer Rajendra Singh Panwar, was shot and seriously injured. For a few years, he lost his voice. He was treated at AIIMS, Delhi. He has not been identified as a state agitationist to date. Subhashini Bartwal, a female agitator facing a CBI case, says there are many such activists whose contribution cannot be forgotten. The agitators must get their due.

It should be recalled that 7 people were killed by police in Khatima on September 1, 1994. Thousands of people in Mussoorie took to the streets the following day, leading to a police shooting and 6 deaths. 23 years have passed since his martyrdom. Despite so much sacrifice, people still wonder if Uttarakhand is the dream state of martyrs.

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