The Kashmir Files, a film by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri on the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits leading to their exodus from the valley in 1990, has successfully attracted the masses to the theatres. The film has brought the truth and suffering of the Kashmiri Hindus into the limelight. One of the most shocking incidents during that period was the brutal rape and murder of Girija Tickoo, a Kashmiri Pandit, who was gang-raped and cut into half using a mechanical saw while she was still alive.
Girija’s family has finally opened up about the incident after staying silent for over three decades. Her niece, Sidhi Raina, shared a heartfelt post on Instagram where she talked about how her family still waits for justice and urged everyone to watch the movie. While explaining what happened to Girija, she said that the film shows the horrifying nights her family and every Kashmiri Pandit family went through.
She wrote, “My father’s sister, Girija Tickoo, was a librarian at a University who had gone to collect her paycheck, on her way back the bus she was travelling from was stopped and what happened next still leaves me in shivers, tears, and nausea. My bua was then thrown into a taxi, with five men (one of them being her colleague), who tortured her, raped her, and then brutally murdered her by cutting her alive with a carpenter saw. Imagine being the brother who had to recognize his Babli, who wasn’t at fault in this gruesome battle of total hypocrisy.”
Raina said she had never heard anyone speaking about the incident. “My father tells me every brother lived in such shame and anger that nothing had been done to receive justice for my Babli Bua,” she added. Urging everyone to watch the movie, Raina said, “This is my plea to ALL of you to watch the Kashmir Files and take your friends and family with you.”
The case of Girija Tickoo
Girija Tickoo was a Kashmiri Hindu from Bandipora. She worked as a laboratory assistant in a university in Kashmir Valley. In the aftermath of the ‘Azadi Movement’ by the terrorists of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front headed by Yasin Malik, Tickoo had fled with her family and settled in Jammu. One day, she received a call from someone who claimed the situation was better in the valley and she could come back to collect her salary. She was assured of safety, and the person alleged the area was safe to travel to.
In June 1990, Girija came to the valley to collect her salary and met her local Muslim colleague at her home. She was not aware that Jihadi terrorists were tracking her movement. Girija was kidnapped from her colleague’s home and was taken to an unknown location. Everyone, including her colleague and people in the locality, watched her being taken silently.
After a few days of the kidnapping, her dead body was found on the roadside in horrible condition. The autopsy revealed she was brutally gang-raped and horribly tortured. Girija was cut into two pieces using a mechanical saw while she was still alive, right from the middle of her body.
Her family still awaits justice, just like the hundreds and thousands of other Kashmiri Pandits whose suffering has been deemed as ‘propaganda’ by the ‘liberal’ section of the media and society.