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Who was Tika Lal Taploo? The “Kashmir Files” reference to Senior BJP leader

On September 14, 1989, Tika Lal Taploo, who was the Bharatiya Janata Party leader and a beloved Kashmiri pandit was brutally murdered in the broad daylight.

New Delhi: Vivek Agnihotri’s directorial The Kashmir Files has been making headlines since the day of its release for portraying the hardcore truth about the atrocities faced by the Kashmiri pandits in the valley. The movie has brought upon several wounds borne by Kashmiri pandits and one such was the murder of Tika Lal Taploo.

On September 14, 1989, Tika Lal Taploo, who was the Bharatiya Janata Party leader and a beloved Kashmiri pandit was brutally murdered in the broad daylight. The 59-year-old was well known for his love for his community and country. September 14 is observed as Martyrdom Day in remembrance of Taploo. 

Reportedly, Taploo was the first Kashmiri Hindu who was murdered by the first wave of Kashmiri terrorists. It is said that the wave of Kashmiri Hindu exodus started with Taploo being killed following which thousands of Kashmiri Hindus were murdered with lakhs leaving the valley as Islamists called for them to convert, leave, or be killed.

Early life of Taploo

Tika Lal Taploo was born in 1930. He did his matriculation from Punjab University in 1945 and MALLB from Aligarh Muslim University in 1958. After completing his post-graduation in Law, he joined the Kashmir Bar Association and later he enrolled as an advocate at Jammu and Kashmir High Court. 


Taploo’s participation in agitation during emergency

Taploo was a loyal and long-time member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In 1975, when India was under the emergency announced by the Congress-led government under the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Taploo participated in the protest against the government. Lok Sangagh Samiti, under the leadership of Jaya Prakash Narayan had called for a protest against the nation. Taploo along with two other colleagues participated in the agitation at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.

His popularity and political alliance became a threat to his life

Taploo was a fearless leader who lived in Habba Kadal Constituency which was dominated by Muslims. Popularly known as ‘Lalaji’, Taploo was a courageous person who stood up front to bring the communities together while terror organizations tried to cause unrest in the valley. His popularity and being a BJP leader have brought upon threat to his life.

Days before he was murdered, he took his family to Delhi and left them there to ensure their safety. On September 8, 1989, he returned to Kashmir and after just four days he was attacked at his residence, however, he escaped unhurt.



On one fine day, Taploo was heading to High Court when he noticed a little Muslim girl crying. He found out that the girl was crying for some stationary and for which he handed Rs 5 bill with a broad smile and left for work. He barely walked a few metres when three men with covered faces confronted him.


One of them approached him, took out his weapon, and shot him dead. They fired eight rounds non-stop. The entire valley was shocked upon hearing the news. Reportedly, Javed Ahmed Ali alias Javed Nalka was believed to be behind the murder of Taploo. It was said believed that Nalka executed the murder as retaliation to the efforts made by Taploo to send bricks and funds for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.