At least 6 Hindu civilians, including a 5-year-old boy and another minor child, have been killed and 11 others injured in a terror attack at a village in J&K’s Rajouri district on Sunday evening and an IED explosion today morning.
Police sources said terrorists fired at three houses near a Ram mandir in Upper Dangri village, around 8 km away from Rajouri town, on Sunday evening, resulting in 4 deaths and 6 injuries. An IED planted by the terrorists near one of the houses exploded today morning, resulting in the death of a 5-year-old boy and another minor child and injuries to 4 others, including two women.
“Terrorists fired at civilians living in three houses in Dangri village, injuring 10 people. While doctors said 3 injured had been declared as brought dead, another succumbed to critical injuries in the hospital,” a police official said.
“Senior police and military officers reached the village to supervise the cordon and search operation to nab the terrorists,” a source said. The injured are being airlifted to the Jammu Medical College Hospital for specialised treatment.
As per India Today, two terrorists were involved in the attack. Other reports say the terrorists drove up in an SUV, but their exact numbers are not known. What is clear is that they made their way through the forests and barged into 3 houses of the Hindu community around 7 PM yesterday. The terrorists first confirmed the identity of the victims, through their Aadhaar cards, before opening fire.
“The firing ended within 10 minutes. First, they attacked a house in Upper Dangri and then they moved 25 meters away and shot several people there. They also fired on another house 25 meters away from the second house while fleeing the village,” an official is quoted as saying in the India Today report.
The deceased have been identified as Satish Kumar (45), Deepak Kumar (23), Pritam Lal (57) and Shishu Pal (32); whereas 5 of the injured are Pawan Kumar (38), Rohit Pandit (27), Saroj Bala (35), Ridham Sharma (17) and Pawan Kumar (32). Some of the injured are in critical condition.
The three houses that were targeted by the Islamic terrorists were situated a little away from the main village in the Muslim-majority Rajouri region.
On Monday morning, an explosion rocked the same Upper Dangri village injuring 6 people, near the site of Sunday’s terrorist attack. The explosion was caused by a suspected IED believed to have been planted by the terrorists to inflict casualties on the police and security forces.
Six people were injured in the explosion and two of them, a 5-year-old boy and another minor child, succumbed to their injuries.
“A blast occurred near the house of victim of yesterday’s firing incident in Rajouri’s Upper Dangri village,” ADGP Mukesh Singh said in a tweet, adding, “One child has succumbed to injuries. Five persons [were] injured, one critical. Another suspected IED was spotted which is being cleared.”
This terrorist attack in Rajouri district followed the killing of 4 suspected Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in an hour-long shootout near Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu city when they were trying to sneak into Kashmir in a truck this Wednesday. A haul of seven AK-47 semiautomatic rifles, an M-4 rifle and grenades were found on them. On December 26, police defused an IED packed with more than 10kg of RDX and shrapnel that was found in the forest in Udhampur district of Jammu region.
Before Independence Day 2022, fidayeen terrorists attacked an Army camp in Rajouri district and killed 5 soldiers in a pre-dawn strike on August 11. On August 12, 2021, a child died while seven people were wounded in a grenade attack on the house of a BJP functionary in Rajouri district.
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Jammu region of the UT of J&K has not seen such a major terror attack on civilians for years. In fact, Kashmiri Pandits who have been given govt jobs as part of the PM rehabilitation package, have been demanding that they be shifted to Jammu as there have been several targeted killings of Hindus in the Kashmir valley.
But this brazen terror attack, a throwback to massacres like Kaluchak and Nadimarg, caused widespread outrage and spontaneous protests were seen last night itself. Hindus who gathered outside GMC hospital Rajouri, shouted slogans against Pakistan and terrorists for the killings. They also shouted slogans against the Lt Governor’s administration and security agencies for not tackling the threat of Pakistan-sponsored terrorists effectively.
Several organizations have called for a general strike in the Rajouri district today, and a complete shutdown was observed. People gathered at Dangri chowk along with the bodies of those killed in the attack, and blocked roads. They are demanding that Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha come to the protest site.
(With IANS inputs)
11:50 AM, 2 Jan 2023: More details of the casualties caused by the IED explosion today morning have been updated. One 5-year-old boy died and 5 people were injured in the explosion. There are conflicting reports about the names of the victims – we will update this article as and when more facts emerge.
1:10 PM, 2 Jan ’23: Another minor child has reportedly died due to the IED explosion today morning, raising the total death toll in the Rajouri terror attack on New Year’s day to 6.