April 1998 News

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Kashmir Terrorists Behead 26 Hindus in Prankote

21st April 1998

The village resembled a ghost area with beheaded bodies lying scattered'

Unidentified militants beheaded 26 Hindu villagers, including women and children, in Prankote and Dakikote, two hilly villages in the upper reaches of Udhampur district in Jammu region, two days ago. "There are only two survivors," Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, who visited the massacre sites on Monday morning along with Union Home Minister L K Advani, said, "The rest have all been butchered."

He said the militants entered the village at night, forced entry into four homes belonging to the minority community, and slaughtered them in cold blood. Seven members of a family were charred beyond recognition when the militants torched their house. "A girl who received major burn injuries managed to escape, but we found her body in a gorge -- she had succumbed to her injuries while fleeing," Dr Abdullah said.

A massive hunt has been launched to nab the militants, the CM said. No group has owned responsibility for the killings, which come less than three months after the Wandhama massacre.

The police party which was rushed to the site had to be airlifted on Monday morning. The terrain, a police officer who returned with the CM said, was 'very difficult', and it would have taken the police another day to reach Prankote and Dadikote.

"The village resembled a ghost area, with beheaded bodies lying scattered," he recollected, "There was no one around." The party found two survivors, both girls, who were in shock and unable to speak. "It is difficult to say at this stage if there are any other survivors," the official said.

The Union home minister and chief minister were the first to reach the spot. It was after their arrival that helicopters were pressed into service to airlift the police party which was still on its way, even after a two-day trek.

Dr Abdullah said: "This a shocking incident. I have seen tragedies earlier, but this was bloodcurdling. No bullets were fired, the villagers were butchered." "It was a gruesome sight," Advani added.

The Union home minister said the main aim of the massacre was to force the migration of the minority community from the area. The visit had given him an idea about the situation prevailing in the state, he said.



 

Stop bloodshed in Kashmir, says Farooq

Apr 21, 1998
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday demanded that Pakistan be
told in "unequivocal terms and strong words" to stop bloodshed in the state, because "we, the
hunted, cannot remain mute spectators." He called for launching a massive operation to flush out militants and foreign mercenaries from mountain ranges. While militants continue to hunt civilians, the government cannot remain passive, the chief minister said in the legislative assembly, winding up an hour-long discussion on Friday's Prankote carnage. In his hard-hitting speech, Dr Abdullah said the time has come to contemplate taking tough measures including air surveillance, setting up security posts at sensitive ranges and joint operations for taking on foreign mercenaries. "We won't succumb to their (Pakistan's) pressure," the chief minister said. Referring to the killings, he said the Indian missions across the world must inform the committee of nations about the gross violation of human rights by Pak-run terrorists.


 

Sonia Gandhi visits Massacre villages

Sonia visited Dhakikot village, a remote village in the mountains of Udhmapur district and nearly 240 km (150 miles) south of Srinagar, where unidentified militants killed 29 people, mostly Hindus, on last Friday.  The Congress party has announced a grant of one million rupees ($25,189) of relief for each village from the party funds, a party spokesman said.


 

Thousands of Hindus Fleeing Terrorist Affected Areas

JAMMU, India, April 22  - Thousands of Hindus are feeling from the terror- struck parts of
Kashmir after suspected separatist guerrillas on Friday shot dead 29 people, mostly Hindus, in Dhakikot, about 185 km (115 miles) from Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state.

The massacre, the second of its sort this year, triggered mass migration from the remote village.
About 1,000 people left Dhakikot and surrounding villages and moved to safer parts of the state in
the first flush of migration, Farooq Abdullah, chief minister of the troubled province, told the state
assembly.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the remote Kashmiri village, but Dr. Farooq Abdullah pointed the finger at India's arch-rival, Pakistan, for continuing to push arms and men across the border into Kashmir. Pakistan, which has annexed a third of Kashmir, says it only offers moral and diplomatic support to the rebels.

Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani, back from a trip to the site of the killings, said it was important
that people went back to their homes. "I have impressed upon them that they must return to their homes at the earliest...we will do everything, including redeployment of security forces, to ensure this," Advani said earlier this week.


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