Wednesday, July 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Brig, 7 jawans shot dead
Ultras strike at Army camp; 2 Lt-Gens hurt
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

A terrorist lies dead outside an Army camp in Akhnoor on Tuesday.
A terrorist lies dead outside an Army camp in Akhnoor on Tuesday. — Photo Sarabjeet Singh

Akhnoor (Jammu), July 22
In one of the major strikes in the past few years, Pakistani terrorists shot dead Brigadier V.K. Govil and seven soldiers in an attack on an Army camp here today.

Lt-Gen Hari Prasad, GOC-in-C, Northern Command, and Lt-Gen T.P.S. Brar, Commander of the Nagrota based 16th Corps, were injured in the attack. Their condition was stated to be out of danger.

Reports said that five other officers — Major Generals K.K. Khanna and T.K. Sapru, Brigadier Baldev Singh and two Colonels — were also injured in the attack.

The GOC-in-C and the Corps Commander came under attack from terrorists when they had come here to personally assess the situation following the attack on the camp by terrorists in the morning.

The top officials of the Command were moving in the camp area as the Army authorities believed to have eliminated all terrorists, who had attacked the camp early in the morning. However, a terrorist was still hiding there and the authorities were apparently unaware of this.

Brig Govil was killed on the spot.

The Army authorities here were silent and refused to confirm or deny the incident.

Terrorists had attacked the Army camp early in the morning within eight hours of killing six Vaishno Devi pilgrims at Katra. Seven soldiers were killed in the attack.

Three terrorists were killed in the encounter that followed the attack on the camp.

Six other soldiers were wounded as the terrorists indiscriminately sprayed bullets on them. The condition of two of them was stated to be critical.

Eye-witnesses said that terrorists came outside the camp of the EME in army uniform and hurled grenades at the two sentries, killing them on the spot. Thereafter, they barged into the Army camp and started firing indiscriminately on the soldiers, who came out of their barracks on hearing the explosions. Five jawans died inside the camp and six were wounded.

This is the second attack in the military area by terrorists in Jammu. The earlier was at Sunjawan near Jammu, where eight soldiers were killed in a suicide attack by terrorists.

Mediapersons were not allowed to proceed towards the camp area and not much details about the incident were given by the Army officers.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the last night’s explosions by terrorists at Banganga has increased to six, with a girl, Kiran Kumari (15), succumbing to her injuries in the medical college at Jammu today.

Three of the killed were from Punjab. Fortyseven injured have been brought to Jammu for treatment and of these 17 are children and women.

Those killed have been identified as Karan Veer Singh (14), Amritsar, Daljeet Singh (36), Argobal village (Hoshiarpur), Harpreet Singh (13), Ludhiana, Krishan Lal Gangol (30), Nepal, Dhrup Lal Gangoi (28), Nepal and Kiran Kumari (15), Jammu.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the Union Minister of Home, Swami Chinmayanand, and the Minister of State for Defence, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, flew to Katra and visited the Medical College Hospital at Jammu to enquire about the health of the wounded.

The Chief Minister and the Central ministers reviewed the scenario in the light of the spurt in terrorist incidents in the Jammu area.

Meanwhile, of the 48 injured persons admitted in the medical college, six are from Punjab, one from Haryana and rest from other places. The injured, belonging to Punjab, have been identified as Raj Kumar (20) from Kalrot (Gurdaspur), Neeru (22) from Kalrot (Gurdaspur), Dilbagh Singh (27) from Amritsar, Balvinder Singh (25) from Amritsar, Ravinder Singh (45) from Banga and Gurpreet (11) from Ludhiana.

Ms Sunita Devi (25), a resident of Kurukshetra in Haryana, is also among the injured.



Army chief in Akhnoor
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 22
The Chief of Army Staff, General N.C. Vij, flew to Akhnoor this evening to take stock of the loss caused due to the terrorist attack in an army camp where a Brigadier, V.K. Govil and six soldiers were killed.

However, the Minister of State for Defence, Prof Chaman Lal Gupta, in the evening denied that Lt-Gen Hari Prasad, GOC-in-C and Lt-Gen T.P.S. Brar, GOC of 16th Corps, were injured in the terrorist attack.

He said Gen Brar was accompanying Gen Vij in Akhnoor and Gen Hari Prasad was fine.

A spokesman of the Army said a terrorist hiding in the area blew himself up in the proximity when senior commanders visited the area. Brig Govil was fatally injured and some of the senior officers present there received superficial injuries.


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