Monday, September 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

RAW officer, 2 others killed in Rajouri blast
Tribune News Service and agencies

Jammu, September 21
An officer of the intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Mr A.C. Dutta, and two others were killed in an explosion in the main bazaar of the border district of Rajouri today.

As many as 27 persons were injured and the condition of six of them was critical. The critically wounded were air lifted from Rajouri to here for treatment in the medical college hospital, while others were admitted to the district hospital.

Reports reaching here said that an IED planted by terrorists outside a bar exploded in the afternoon killing three persons on the spot.

The other two killed were brothers and have been identified as Vinod Kumar and Kaushal Kumar.

Mr Dutta, who was holding the rank of captain, was posted at Rajouri and was near the Royal Bar when the IED exploded. He received multiple wounds which proved fatal.

Tension gripped the town and the Army was moved in to prevent any untoward incident. Shopkeepers pulled down the shutters of their establishments to protest against the incident.

The injured including the bar owner, were evacuated by the police and Army with the help of locals to district hospital, official sources said.

The bar was extensively damaged in the blast which also led to cracks in nearby structures, the police said.

The police and security forces have launched search operations in and around the town, which wore a deserted look after the blast.

J&K Minister of State for Forests and Environment Thakur Puran Singh, along with the Deputy Commissioner, M.K. Divedi, and the DIG of Rajouri, visited the hospital and instructed the authorities to provide best medical care to the injured.

The minister said ex-gratia relief would be given to next of kin of the deceased and injured as per rules.

Meanwhile, Two militants were killed and a special police officer (SPO) was injured in separate militancy-related incidents in Jammu division since last evening, official sources said today.

Two militants were gunned down by the security forces during an encounter in the Naka Majiari area in Poonch district this afternoon, the sources said, adding the operation was continuing.

A report from Doda district said that a group of three militants belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen fired at two SPOs in the Dachan area last evening, injuring one of them seriously.

The security forces, during a search operation in Darhal area of Rajouri district, busted a militant hideout and seized 48 rounds of pika ammunition and a bag containing some explosives.

SRINAGAR: Three civilians were killed and equal number of persons injured as Pakistani troops shelled Forward Defence Locations in Gurez and Naushera sectors of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said today.

Three civilians including a driver of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) were killed and three others injured as Pakistani troops shelled the Gurez sector of Baramula district last evening, the sources said, adding the driver was sleeping in the bus which was hit by a shell, killing him on the spot.

The shelling from across the border was unprovoked and also damaged 15 shops, a residential house and a government building, the sources said.

Pakistani troops also shelled Forward Defence Locations (FDLs) in Naushera sector of Rajauri and resorted to small arms firing at a few places along the International Border in Jammu division, the sources said.

The enemy troops targeted FDLs in Kalsian, Rumlidhara and Jhangar in Naushera, they said, adding approximately 110 shells were fired during the period.

Though the Indian troops retaliated the loss suffered on the other side was not immediately known, they said.

Meanwhile, four militants of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit were killed in an encounter with the Army forests in Jammu and Kashmirís frontier district of Kupwara this morning, a defence spokesman said.

All four Jaish militants were killed in Gulgam forests at around 11.45 a.m., he said.

Four AK rifles, six grenades, three radio sets and 20 detonators were recovered from the slain militants, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the valley, three persons, including a woman and a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, were killed while militants abducted a villager since last evening.

The security forces also killed a Lashkar militant identified as Sallah-ud-Din at Lashkote in Baramula district last evening. An AK rifle, two grenades, three magazines and 48 rounds were seized from the possession of the slain militant.

The police also recovered the body of a woman Raihana at Watakul today, the spokesman said and added Raihana was abducted by some unidentified gunmen from her house yesterday.

Shabir Ahmad Dar succumbed to his injuries this morning after being seriously wounded in a militant attack at Hajan on September 13 in which former MLA and Awami League chairman Kukka Parray and three others were killed.

Unidentified gunmen abducted Bashir Ahmad Peer at Reshi Gund Kupwara, last evening, he added.


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