Saturday, August 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Militants massacre six villagers
Curfew in Rajouri, Army out
Tribune News Service and agencies

JAMMU, Aug 18 — An indefinite curfew was imposed in Rajouri town and the Army was called out following the killing of six persons belonging to one community in Kode Dhara village.

The police said a group of militants, equipped with assault rifles, swooped on the village last night and opened indiscriminate fire in which six persons, including a child, were killed. Six were wounded, three of them seriously.

Security personnel, on hearing the gunshots, rushed to the site, forcing the militants to beat a hasty retreat. According to the police, had not the security forces reached the site on time, there would have been a major massacre.

As tension gripped the village and the town, the District Magistrate imposed curfew restrictions and the Army was summoned to enforce the curfew.

Today an enraged mob attacked government vehicles and torched the van of the Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri. The police lathi-charged the protesters.

One column of the troops was rushed to the area under the supervision of Col Manjit Singh. The troops cordoned off the forest belt around the village and launched search operations.

Senior civil and police officers have been camping in the village since last night trying to pacify the people. An additional security picket has been set up in the village.

Eyewitnesses said members of three families were getting ready for dinner when the militants descended on the village and opened fire. It was so sudden that the civilians who possessed guns could not get a chance to retaliate. A VDC member was killed in the attack.

Reports said on hearing the firing of guns, securitymen from a nearby CRPF picket rushed to the site and engaged the militants in an encounter.

Later, Army troops and Special Operations Group (SOG) reinforcements reached the area and cordoned it off, he said, adding that the security forces and the police had launched a hunt to track down the militants.

Two days after the Hizbul Mujahideen called off the ceasefire, militants blew up a car bomb in Srinagar on August 10, killing 14 persons, mostly securitymen and a photographer of a leading national daily.

Giving details of the incident, the Inspector-General of Police, Jammu zone, Mr R.V. Raju, said the militants swooped on Sankri village, 200 km northwest of here, around 1930 hours and entered some houses belonging to Hindus by breaking the doors.

As some of the inmates came out of their houses, the ultras opened indiscriminate fire, killing six persons and critically injuring six, he said, adding one of the victims was a member of the Village Defence Committee (VDC).

The deceased have been identified as Vishwanath, Manohar Lal, Ashok Kumar, Ganesh Chand, Bishembar Dass and Purshotam Lal.

The critically injured — Champa Devi, Sakshi and Indu — were rushed to the district hospital in Rajouri.

The Harkat-ul-Jehade Islami (HUJI) is suspected to be behind the attack.

Official sources used the oft-repeated cliché “tense but under control” to describe the situation after the curfew was clamped at 0430 hours this morning.

Two Rashtriya Rifles jawans were killed and two injured when a landmine exploded in Buzla area of Banihal sub-division in Doda district on August 16.

The troops were carrying out search operations in the area, but was trapped in the landmine planted by the militants.

In another incident, SPO Mushtaq Hussain was dragged out of his house by militants in Battian area of Surankote in Poonch district last night and shot dead.

A Defence spokesman said two Hizb militants, Mohammad Shabir and Mohammad Arif, surrendered along with arms to the Border Security Force (BSF).

The duo belonging to Rajouri district had taken to militancy between 1994-1997 and received training in various militant camps in Pakistan and Kabul.

While Shabir was a battalion commander for Kandi-Budhal areas, Arif had been nominated launching commander of the group to pick up youths for training.

The militants also handed over two AK-47 rifles with nine magazines, six hand grenades and a radio set.

With the death of another police personnel in the Soura Institute of Medical Sciences today, the death toll in the car blast at Residency Road here on August 10 has gone up to 13. Constable Gulzar Ahmad, who was battling for his life at the SKIMS since August 10, succumbed to his injuries today.

A militant and a security jawan were killed in an encounter in Marg Gul forest area in Basipora, in Baramula district yesterday. The police said the security forces and the police were conducting search operations in the area when they were fired upon by hiding militants. In the ensuing encounter, a militant and a jawan were killed.


Mob attacks officers

JAMMU, Aug 18 (PTI) — The Assistant Commissioner of Rajouri was injured when a mob, protesting against the killing of six Hindus by militants last night, threw stones at his vehicle and burnt the Deputy Commissioner’s car when the officials reached Jawahar Nagar locality where bodies of the victims were brought for last rites today.

The incident occurred when Deputy Commissioner B.A. Runyal, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Abdul Quyoom Mir and other top officials, went to the locality, an official spokesman said here. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |