Monday, January 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ultra admits to Sikh carnage, says no regret

NEW YORK, Dec 31 (PTI) — A Pakistani militant, arrested in connection with the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chittisinghpora in Kashmir, in March, has admitted to his being a member of the attackers’ team and his affiliation to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, a media report said here today.

Suhail Malik of Sialkot, interviewed in an Indian prison by a New York Times correspondent, has said he had no regrets for being involved in the massacre which coincided with the US President Bill Clinton’s five-day India tour.

Malik said he had opened fire on the Sikhs because he had been ordered to do so by his commanders and that he knew nothing about the plot to kill them until immediately as he stood in an orchard where the 35 persons were killed.

“I used my weapons when commanded. We are told what to do and not why. Afterwards we were told not to talk about it,” 18-year-old Malik said.

“The Koran teaches us not to kill innocents. But if the Lashkar-e-Toiba told us to kill those people, then it was right to do it. I have no regrets,” he added.

He said in the interview: “When I was sent here from Pakistan, I was told the Indian Army kills Muslims. It treats them badly and burns their mosques and refuses to let them pray. They must be freed from these clutches”.

Malik said the Lashkar-e-Toiba had tutored him in marksmanship and mountain climbing. He sneaked into India in October, 1999. He took part in two attacks before Chittisinghpora — one on an army outpost and the other on a bus carrying soldiers.

In Sialkot, his father insisted that he did not know to which group Malik belonged. And his “favourite” uncle declined to answer any question but lashed out at Christians and Jews.

Malik agreed that he was likely to spend the rest of his life in an Indian prison. Terming this as “a dreary prospect”, he said he would have preferred the “glory of martyrdom”.

Malik said he had attended a government school till fifth grade but like many boys in Pakistan, had switched over to a madrassa, a Muslim religious academy.

He said he heard the speeches of Lashkar-e-Toiba’s leaders while studying in Lahore and trusted their vision of the world and trusted still. 

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