100 Families migrate after massacre in Narla Bambal
23 February 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Rajouri: Over 100 families today migrated from the village Narla Bambal under the jurisdiction of Dharamshal police station in Kalakote tehsil where eight civilians of two minority community families were massacred by the terrorists on the intervening night of February 16 and 17. Possibility of more migration from the village was not ruled out in view of a sense of insecurity prevailing among the minorities following the massacre, official reports here said. Reports said that about 51 families have taken shelter in village Ransoo in Pouni area of Reasi tehsil in Udhampur district while 50 other families were camping in Teryath village of this district. The migrant families had to trek over 16 kilometers treacherous route on foot to reach the safer areas. Reports said the tension was building in Narla Bambal and surrounding villages after the massacre. A team of police that had gone to the village for investigations and searches had returned the next day after cremation of the victims, who belonged to the two families of Mithu Ram and Suram Chand, both brothers. In the absence of the deployment of police or para-military, the people said they had no option but to desert their homes and migrate to the safer areas. Meanwhile, a police team comprising SP Reasi Satish Khandarey, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Reasi Hirdesh Kumar and Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Nowshera Nitish Kumar visited the migrant families in Ransoo village this afternoon and listened to their grievances. The police officers assured the migrant families that adequate security arrangements are being made in Narla Bambal and surrounding villages to ward off the possibility of any fresh strike by the terrorists. They claimed that the migrants have agreed to return to their houses in next two-three days after observing the security arrangements in the village. The SDM Reasi ordered that religious Shiv Khori town in Ransoo would be available for the migrants, where they are being provided food and other necessary facilities. SDPO Nowshera Nitish Kumar later also visited Teryath village in Rajouri where some other migrant families were putting up. He ordered setting up of a team of police officials that would visit the area in Narla Bambal and distributed weapons to the Village Defence Committee (VDC) members. He also promised to strengthen the Narla Bambal post of Special Task Force (STF). He told the migrants that the issue of setting up a Border Security Force (BSF) post in Narla Bambal has also been taken up with the authorities.