Rajouri’s dead cremated in moving farewell amid ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ slogans | India News

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JAMMU: Fire and fury rhymed in a stirring send-off to six victims of terrorist attack in Upper Dhangri village of Jammu’s Rajouri district, as hundreds of mourners gathered at Tuesday’s cremation and shouted slogans against Pakistan-backed terrorism and the selective killing of Hindus in the mountainside hamlet on January 1 and 2.
Before the flames gathered up from the six pyres on a cold and foggy day, J&K police announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anybody sharing information about the terrorists who barged into an isolated cluster of three Hindu homes in the Muslim-majority village and shot dead four people and wounded six on the evening of New Year’s Day. They left behind IEDs, one of which exploded the next morning and killed two children and wounded nine, most of them women and kids.
DGP Dilbag Singh, Jammu zone ADGP Mukesh Singh, divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar, BJP’s J&K chief Ravinder Raina, Army officers and other prominent people attended the funeral that began with an overnight vigil at the government school where the bodies were kept.
Mourners came in ones and twos and swelled into a crowd by morning. They queued up with flowers and wreaths to pay their last respects to Vihan Sharma, 4, Samiksha Sharma, 14, Deepak Kumar, 23, Shishu Pal, 32, Satish Kumar, 45, and Pritam Lal, 57.
“Pakistan Murdabad” slogans rose above the wailing of chest-thumping relatives, chanting of mantras, and the stoic silence of soldiers and cops guarding the site. Security has been beefed up in and around Rajouri town, about 8km from the village, while the forces continued their operation to hunt down the terrorists. An NIA team was also there, gathering clues.
A mourner said: “If Pakistan wants war it should fight an open war, not a proxy war of killing innocent civilians. Lanat hai aise desh par (Shame on such a country).” Another man demanded a stronger surgical strike, referencing the 2016 Indian attack on terrorist camps in Pakistan near the border. Others said the massacre should be avenged and the “killers must be given a dog’s death”.
As the flames folded the dead into J&K’s troubled twist of fate, the mourners also worried about and prayed for the 15 people, some with multiple bullet wounds, recuperating in hospital.
Divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar gave the grieving families cheques of Rs 10 lakh as ex gratia to each of those killed. The immediate relief was announced Monday by lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha, who comforted the families in a visit to the three homes that stand just 50 metres apart.



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