2 kids killed in IED blast in Rajouri village, day after New Year’s Day massacre | India News


JAMMU: A four-year-old boy and a teenage girl were killed in an IED explosion Monday in a sinister continuation of the targeted terrorist attack on three Hindu homes in the mountainside village of Upper Dhangri in Jammu’s Rajouri district that were sprayed with bullets on New Year’s Day, leaving four villagers dead and six gravely wounded.
In all, six died and 15 were wounded in a little over 12 hours, comparable to some of the most gruesome killings recorded in J&K during the peak of separatist insurgency in the 1990s. Lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha and DGP Dilbag Singh promised that the attackers will be “punished soon”, but there’s no official word on how many terrorists were involved and to which group they belong. No outfit has claimed responsibility yet.
The victims of the IED blast were identified as Vihan Kumar, who perished instantly from shrapnel wounds, and 14-year-old Samiksha, who died later at Government Medical College in Rajouri town, about 8km north of the village.
Nine people were wounded, mostly women and children. “The people under treatment are Sanvi Sharma, 7, Angel Sharma, 8, Kanhaya Sharma, 14, Vansh Bhargav, 15, Sejal Sharma, 18, Sumiksha Sharma, 20, Sharda Devi, 38, Santosh Sharma, 45, and Kamlesh Devi, 48. Their condition is stable,” medical superintendent Dr Mehmood Hussain Bajar said.
The J&K administration announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh to each of those killed Sunday— Pritam Sharma, 56, his 33-year-old son Ashish Kumar, Deepak Kumar, 23, a PHE employee, and Sheetal Kumar, 48. A government job will also be given to the next of kin of each of the four victims.
LG Manoj Sinha condemned the “cowardly terror attack” and announced best possible medical treatment as well as Rs 1 lakh to each of the wounded: Pawan Kumar, Saroj Bala, her 17-year-old daughter Arushi Sharma, Sushil Kumar, Rohit Pandit and Shubam Sharma, 20.
Sinha, DGP Dilbag Singh and top officials and politicians visited Dhangri and met the families as well as the sarpanch. The LG said: “We have given full freedom to the security forces and I want to assure the people that the perpetrators of this attack will be punished soon.” DGP Singh said the terrorists will be hunted down soon.
The terrorists had planted IEDs after they rode an SUV on Sunday evening into an area where the three houses stand within 50 metres of each other, in a nook cloistered from the main Muslim-majority village of more than 3,000 people.
They barged into each of the three homes, emptied several magazines of semiautomatic weapons in an insanely indiscriminate shooting, and melted into the darkness. They left behind a trail of blood and an unidentified number of deadly IEDs. One of these went off when a group of mourners gathered to comfort the grieving families on Monday morning. Security agencies found another in the vicinity and defused it.
The place is being combed amid fears that there could be more unexploded bombs, which many believe were intended to inflict maximum “collateral damage” by targeting security forces that move into an area in large numbers after a terrorist attack.
J&K police, Army and CRPF personnel reached the area an hour after Sunday’s carnage, while an NIA team landed Monday in Upper Dhangri. But officials were tight-lipped on how the IEDs went undetected during the night-long search. One reason could be the dense winter fog and darkness.
The latest carnage sparked public outrage and protests were seen in several places of Jammu, where people were already angry over repeated targeted attacks on Kashmiri Pandit employees and migrant workers in the Valley over the past year.
The protesters shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and blamed the neighbouring country for the Rajouri massacre and terrorism in J&K.
BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh said: “Time has come for the Pakistani agents to understand that the Modi government would not spare any effort to bring a new culture of progress and prosperity to the region.”
J&K Congress president Vikar Rasool Wani said the killings “belie claims of the government and the security heads regarding the ground situation”. The NC said the situation in J&K is contrary to claims of the BJP leadership about development and peace in the region.


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