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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 12:22 GMT
Eyewitness: 'They knocked on our doors'

Survivors of Sunday's massacre in Indian-administered Kashmir have been describing what happened.

Neighbours of the victims
Neighbours of the victims grieve

Nadimarg is a tiny village some 50 kilometres south of the Kashmir summer capital Srinagar.

It is inhabited entirely by Hindus, with 10 families living in the village.

They are among the few Hindus still left in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.

Most Hindu Kashmiris, known as Kashmiri Pandits, fled the valley after violence broke out in 1989.

"This is the price we have to pay for staying back," survivor Chunni Lal, who lost his wife, said.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain, who visited Nadimarg, said the bodies of the dead were laid out on a clearing, covered in white shrouds.

Mourners beat their chests as relatives streamed past, the signs of the violence still very evident.

Midnight knock

Deepak Kumar, whose mother was among those killed, hid inside his house when the attackers came to his door.

Bodies of the victims are laid out
Bodies of the victims are laid out

"There was a knock on the door. These people said 'we are security forces and want to search houses for militants,'" he told the Reuters news agency.

He said he peeped through a hole and saw the villagers being lined up.

"I closed my eyes and then I heard the shots.

Another survivor, Satish, managed to slip away in the confusion.

"I was dragged out of my house but then asked to accompany the militants as they searched another house," he told the BBC.

"In the confusion I ran away. I only returned in the morning."

Chunni Lal said he was lined up outside his house with other villagers after which the gunmen opened fire.

"There were eight of them, dressed in battle fatigues.

"I was hit. I fell down and pretended to be dead," he said.

He managed to survive with a bullet wound in his arm.

Clues

Local police officials had few leads and said they were still trying to identify those behind the killings.

Among the visitors to Nadimarg was Yasin Malik, leader of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and a leading separatist leader.

He said he condemned the attack which he described as "barbaric".

"There should be an impartial inquiry into the attack," he said.

The separatists would offer their full support to such an inquiry, he said.

But Chunni Lal is not impressed with the efforts.

"We had approached the administration to strengthen the police presence in our village, because we felt insecure.

"Nothing happened. But of course, now the whole cabinet will be here."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Jill McGivering
"So far no group has said they carried out the attack"




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