Dhangri (Rajouri)- Twenty-three-year-old Deepak Kumar who was killed in terror attacks on the minority community in Jammu and Kashmir’s Dhangri village on Sunday was about to join Indian Army’s ordnance department on Tuesday.
Deepak, who was son of an employee of the public health engineering department, worked hard and qualified for the army job, his close relatives said on Monday.
He was supposed to join the army’s ordnance department in two days but destiny had something else in store for him, they said.
Four civilians, including Deepak, were killed and six others injured when terrorists opened fire on three houses of the minority community in the village in the border district of Rajouri Sunday evening, officials had said.
The other deceased in the incident were identified as Satish Kumar (45), Pritam Sharma (56) and Shishu Pal (32).
“Food was being prepared when terrorists entered Pritam Sharma’s house. They verified his name through Aadhaar card and then resorted to indiscriminate firing,” said Ranjeet Tara, a resident of Dhangri and Pritam’s neighbour.
This was the first house that became the target of the terrorists, he said, adding that he was the first to visit the house after the attack to ferry the injured to the hospital.
“The food is still on plates. Blood stains have dried. The terrorists targeted the minority community in Rajouri to force their migration,” Tara said, while showing the bullets still lying in the house.
On Sunday at around 7 pm, two terrorists appeared in a house in Devi Ka Naka of Dhangri and resorted to firing in which two brothers got injured. Later, one of the injured, Deepak Kumar, succumbed, eyewitnesses said.
The terrorists then moved to another house located at around 200 metres away and again resorted to firing in which Pritam Sharma and his son were killed, they said.
Continuing their attacks, the militants then moved towards a house located at around 300 metres away and fired in which ex-serviceman Satish Kumar died while his wife, a daughter, a son, a brother and a neighbour got injured, the eyewitnesses said.
As the terrorists were going from one house to another to target minority community members, one villager Bal Krishen came out with the gun of a village defence committee (VDC) member and started firing in the open.
“Only after Bal Krishen resorted to firing with a VDC gun that the terrorists fled the area,” former MLC Vibood Gupta said.
The terrorists, presuming that the firing was done by security forces, escaped from the scene, Gupta said.
Irate over the attacks, victims’ relatives and other villagers protested at Dhangri Chowk with the bodies when they received them from the GMC hospital.
Army and police put the area in cordon throughout the night.
On Monday at around 9:30 am, an IED explosion took place outside the house of victim Deepak Kumar in which nine people got injured. Of the nine injured, a baby boy aged four years and a 17-year-old girl later succumbed to injuries.
Dheeraj Kumar, Sarpanch of Dhangri, said that it is a major security lapse.
“What were the security forces doing here? The incident took place despite high alert,” he said.
As the people raised the issue of the security lapse with J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, he promised a detailed probe into it.
J&K DGP Dilbag Singh termed it a “planned attack” to target senior officers who were visiting the Sunday’s attack site.
While the people were protesting along with six bodies at Dhangri Chowk, Lieutenant Governor Sinha reached out to them.
Sinha, along with DGP Singh, visited houses of the victims and expressed their condolences.
Those behind the terror attacks in Dhangri village will not go unpunished, Sinha said on Monday and announced Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia and a government job to the next of kin of the civilians killed in the incidents.
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