Doda - Ethnic
terrorist campaign left behind a trail of killings of the local minority
community in the hilly district of Doda on the intervening night of August 1 and
2. The separatists gunned down 12 people at Kunda Pogal, two at Darzen Ghat,
Uglen, four at Kharwan and at least ten in Hansraj Top area of Banihal.
revealed that a big group of around 30 militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba
and Harkat-ul-Ansar had been assigned the task of carrying out the massacre of
minorities in the Pogal-Banihal belt. The terrorists divided themselves into
three groups to attack simultaneously around 9.30 PM
the Hindu community at Kunda, Kharwan and Gagwal Maligam villages of Pogal area.
maximum casualties occurred at Kunda Pogal, where 11 people, including two
members each of a family were killed. Nine heavily armed militants, wearing army
fatigues reached Kunda Pogal, 15 kms from the Banihal township and knocked at
the doors of some houses introducing themselves as army jawans.
inside, male folk, which included Sewa Singh, Raj Hari, Sita Ram, Pyar, Ajit,
Suram, Ashok, Thakur and Sher Singh were asked to move to an under construction
building of one Sarpat. Indiscriminate fire killed them on the spot. Many of the
villagers had managed to leave their homes in time, immediately after hearing
the sound of first gun shot and returned home half an hour after the gruesome
incident. Survivors, which included mostly women were bitter against security
forces for showing indifference once again. Sewa Singh, who was posted as
judicial clerk at Ramban had come home to solemnize the marriage function of his
daughter, scheduled for the next day.
group of four militants went to Darzen Ghat, Uglen and abducted Ashok Singh, a
10th Class student and Chakkar Chand of Chenani, from their houses. They took
them to the village primary school building, subjected them to inhuman torture
and shot them dead at about 4.30 in the morning. At Kharwan Sewa Singh, Om
Singh, Bishan Singh, Vishnu were killed din similar fashion.
militants appeared in Hans Raj Top area, 25 kms from the National highway late
in the night. They went to Gujjar Nagar adjoining Chapkani, forcibly entered
some houses and gunned down atleast ten persons, including Bharat Singh, Ram
Rattan, Chuni Singh, Thakur Dass, Prem Singh Katoch and his three unidentified
relatives. Reports said the terrorists after committing the massacre escaped
into the adjoining forests of Banihal.
only in the morning that Brig Mohinder Singh of 11 Sector RR and Additional SP
Ramban Rajesh Yadav rushed to Pogal area, many hours after death visited these
unfortunate people in most inhuman and barbaric manner. Residents of these
villages held strong demonstrations against laxity in the security by the
administration. The government had not even set up VDCs in this area. This
despite the fact that the people of the area had tipped the security forces
about the movements of militants in Kunda area of Pogal on July 30. They had
reported that large groups of militants were freely roaming in the area.
Subsequently, the troops had launched an operation, in which one militant Mohd
Sarfraz Ahmed of Falwal, Gujrat of Pakistan was killed, whereas three others had
escaped. But security forces dropped the chase midway and returned to their base
camp. Same night militants struck killing people at Kunda, Kharwan, Hansraj Top.
Kunda is only 20 minutes walk from Hansraj top (Maligaon), whereas Kharwan is a
forces and the administration were totally complacent about the security of the
minority community, arguing that no massacre had taken place in the area.
Militants used to move in far off Sarwadhar range and come to villages only for
ration and other essential commodidites.
6 another massacre was averted by the alertness of villagers. A group of
militants knocked at doors of Mukund Ram at Digdole, Ramsu on Srinagar-Jammu
Villagers did not respond and raised alarm which drew Major Padma Kumar and Lt
AP Singh of nearby camp of 49-ADR. Terrorists fled away, on seeing the security
these incidents, three hundred families from Doda and Banihal villages have
migrated. Families from Ganpatta, Khour Bridge and Handwa villages migrated to
Doda town, while others have moved to Ramban.
Terrorists have also been threatening VDC members to surrender rifles or face
reprisals. During the past one month the scare has increased and at least ten
VDC members belonging to Mangota, Batungal and Kanthi villages surrendered their
rifles. But this has not deterred other villagers to demand setting up of VDCs
and recruitment of local youth as SPOs. They have also asked the Union
government for permanent deployment of the army in the area and establishment of
military check posts at Lura, Rahun, Senabhati, Phagmulla, Top (Sulta), Dardehi
(Khoura) in addition to Kunda, and Kharwan. The villagers also regretted that
obsolete weapons are being given to VDC members. In addition, the bridges
destroyed by the militants to hamper movement of troops also remain unrepaired.
Except for one wooden bridge, three other bridges at Nachlana, Sherbibi and
another one ahead of Sherbibi were set on fire by the terrorists.
same night of August 1 and 2, suspected foreign militants attacked a patrol
party of eight VDC members at 11 PM in Kayar Buchkar village in Dachchan area of
Kishtwar. Mercenaries opened heavy firing on them through automatic weapons.
Initially taken by surprise, VDC members fought courageously. The encounter
lasted three hours. The obsolete weapons of VDC members couldn’t match those of
mercenaries and soon exhausted their ammunition as well. All the eight VDC
members were killed. Two ladies caught in the cross-firing were injured as
bullets of militants fell inside their houses. Sera Devi succumbed to her
injuries the next day and Sarswati Devi hit in the leg is recovering. While
fleeing, the militants took alongwith them the .303 rifles of the VDC members.
The VDC members killed in the encounter included Kunj Lal, Duni Chand, his
younger brother Goverdhan, Jagdish, Dewan Chand, Satish Kumar, Shambu Nath.
security forces have arrested a local, Farooq Ahmed for his involvement in the
of Massacres in Doda
1993 : 17 Killed at Sarthal, Kishtwar
1996 : 16 Killed at Barshalla, Kishtwar
1996 : 7 killed at Bhaderwah
May 6, 1996
: 17 killed at Sumbar, Ramban
1996 : 8 killed at Kamladi, Doda
1998 : 25 of two marriage parties gunned down at Chapnari, Doda
1998 : 16 massacred in two villages of Doda
1998 : 35 labourers killed at Kalaban, HP adjoining Doda
1999 : 15 killed at Layata, Doda