Local support to terrorists led to massacre: Surviving VDC members
8 January 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The terrorists in the remote village of Sohnwa Maligam area in Ramban tehsil have been getting all out support from some villagers and the massacre of minority community members in the said village on the intervening night of January 6-7 was the result of that support. This was disclosed by an old man Nain Singh while talking to this correspondent. Nain Singh, is recuperating in the Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu from the injuries he had sustained while fighting with the terrorists. ''Some Village Defence Committee (VDC) members including me received an information few days back that terrorists have been receiving all types of support and information from some sympathisers in village'', he disclosed and said ''we had also noticed suspicious movement of some persons in the village''. Definitely, he said, terrorists were provided with an information at what time we (VDC members) used to reach home and added that had the terrorists not been provided information about VDC member’s families the terrorists could not have attacked only them. The seemingly depressed and in a shocking state of mind, Nain Singh who fought bravely with the terrorists untill he ran out of ammunition, further said that after the withdrawal of army the terrorists and their sympathisers in the remote villages have become active. Earlier, the army personnel used to patrol the villages but after their withdrawal none from the other security agencies bothered to patrol the areas, he maintained. He suggested that security forces should launch operation in the remote militancy infested areas to trace out the sympathisers of the terrorists as unless and untill sympathisers will remain there massacre of minority community would continue to take place. ''How long we will continue fighting against the terrorists with antiquated weapons that too with meagre rounds'', he said, adding ''if the Government is serious in protecting the minorities in the militancy-infested areas then the Village Defence Committee (VDC) members should be given sophisticated weapons''. Nain Singh, who lost his three nephews—Bharat Singh, Chatter Singh and Baldev Singh at the hands of terrorists questioned the seriousness of the Government in protecting minorities and asked how long the minorities will have to remain at the mercy of God? ''Had we been provided with sophisticated weapons we would have given tough fight to terrorists and succeeded in eliminating them'', the old VDC member further said, adding ''Aap Khud Hi Andaza Laga Sakta Hain Ki Ek Aamm Bandook Se Hum Kaise Bada Hathiyar Wale Ugarwadion Se Lad Sakte Hain'' (You can guess that how much it is difficult to fight with terrorists armed with modern weapons with old three not three weapon)? He further said that if Government could not bear the burden of providing them new weapons atleast those seized from the terrorists for the past so many years could be given to them after proper training. Expressing disappointment that none has come forward for their help when they were fighting with terrorists, he said, ''I have failed to understand that why majority community members didn’t come for our help'', adding the non availability of security picket in their village led to fleeing of terrorists after the incident. ''The nearby picket of the Special Task Force (STF) is about 15 kilometre from our village'', he informed and said ''none seems to be serious in protecting our lives despite the fact that we have been audaciously fighting with the terrorists''.