Terrorists resort to ethnic-cleansing in Bani
JAMMU, June 11, 2003: The terrorists, have let loose a
reign of terror in the hilly villages of Billawar and Bani tehsils. Last month,
a special police officer and a woman were killed in two separate
militancy-related incidents in Roulka village of Bani tehsil. In both the
encounters, which followed, the terrorists managed to give slip to the security
In Malkar also, which comes in the jurisdiction of
Billawar tehsil, the terrorists continued to strike off and on, resorting to
killings, kidnappings and extortions. On June 8, in broad day light, a group of
terrorists, whose number was stated to be between five to seven, descended to
the village Sadrota from the upper reaches. At gun point, they kidnapped four
civilians and took them to an isolated area. They were later shot dead.
Next morning the police recovered their bodies from a
forest area near Kamleo Gala village. The killed civilians have been identified
as Sudesh Kumar (28), Hans Raj, both brothers and sons of Paras Ram. They
belonged to village Raya Sayal. The other victims included Dhian Singh (40) S/o
Jodh Singh and Prakash Singh (50), S/o Mast Ram, both residents of Morha Channa
near Seri Galla, falling in village Sadrota.
The terrorists escaped after the killings. Tension
gripped Malhar and Billawar as soon as the report of civilians killings spread.
People resorted to shouting of slogans against police, alleging inadequate
security arrangements in the area that led to the killings. Authorities
disclosed that two army companies would be deployed at Sarthal, one company each
would be stationed at Taggar and Bani. People have been demanding 'seek and
destroy' operations against terrorists in this area, for quite sometime.
Meanwhile, a youth who was kidnapped by terrorists on the
night of June 8, from a Dhok in the upper reaches of Punera in Basantgarh, Ram
Nagar, was found murdered in forests on June 11. The victim, identified as
25-year old Rashpal Singh, son of Saneetu, had gone to the higher reaches to
graze his goats. After kidnapping him, he was taken to some other dhok, where he
was forced to cook their food and carry their belongings to other destinations
for a few days. Efforts of Rashpal's family members to search him proved futile.
It was only after Basantgarh police intercepted a message
of the terrorists regarding killing of Rashpal, the police and the villagers
traced to body from the forest. His neck had been slit by the terrorists and the
semi-decomposed body witnessed marks of torture.