8 of two families killed
17 February 2002
Jammu: At least eight persons belonging to a minority community were massacred at Bambal Narla village in Rajouri district late last night.
According to the police, a group of militants barged into the houses of Nathu Ram and Suram Chand and started firing indiscriminately killing eight on the spot and wounding seven others.
According to the IG, Police, Mr P.L. Gupta, the Abdullah Bhai group of the Lashkar-e-Toiba are responsible for the carnage.
Those killed have been identified as Ashok Kumar, Bimla Devi, Pasli Devi, Shakuntala Devi, Baloo, Chhotu and Madhav Ram.
A police party was sent to the village and with the help of the villagers the wounded were admitted to a hospital where the condition of three was said to be critical.
Additional companies of security forces were sent to the area and a massive search has been ordered.
A pall of gloom fell on the village and its adjoining areas. People held demonstrations in protest against the incident and failure of the government to provide security cover to sensitive areas.
The Governor, Mr G.C. Saxena, and the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, while condemning the carnage said it was a sign of frustration on the part of the terrorists.
Senior BJP leaders condemned the massacre and said it was part of the terrorists’ plan to carry out ethnic cleansing in Poonch and Rajouri districts.
The Congress, National Conference and other political parties expressed shock over the incident and said it was part of the attempt to disrupt polling in the Jammu Lok Sabha constituency.
However, the police said since the militants had come under heavy pressure from the security forces they wanted to create tension by carrying out such massacres.
A militant and a civilian were killed in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since yesterday, while security forces held four suspects and recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition during search operations.
The police claimed to have achieved a major success with the recovery of about 100 kg of explosives that were being transported to Ganderbal from here on Friday evening. Mr S.P. Vaid, DIG Police, Srinagar, said the seizure was made during a surprise checking based on a specific information on the Ganderbal road. The driver and the conductor of the bus were taken into custody.
Protest demonstrations were held at four places here today against the alleged arrest of 17 youths here. A large number of residents took to streets at Soura on the outskirts of Srinagar in protest against the arrests. Similar demonstrations were held at Chhanaora, Safakadal and Dalgate.
An unidentified militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Palpora in Pattan area of Baramula district yesterday. An AK rifle, three magazines, 56 rounds and a hand grenade were recovered from the site of the encounter. The encounter ensued when the militants opened fire on a search party, a police spokesman said here. Unidentified militants shot dead Dilawar Rather in Pattan area of Baramula when they intruded into his house yesterday.
Two suspected militants of Tehreek-e-Jehadi Islami were held from Baramula from whose possession two AK rifles, six magazines and 189 rounds were recovered, the police said here.
A suspected militant, Abdul Ghani Bhat, was held from Sumlar, Bandipore in Baramula district yesterday. On his instance, the police and security forces recovered an RPG, a pika gun, 510 AK rounds, 13 magazines, two silencers, two pistol silencers, four wireless sets, three rifle grenades, 17 remote control devices, two RPG shells, six anti-tank grenades, seven UBGL grenades and 45 detonators from a cowshed.