On the first day of the new year, unknown gunmen carried out an attack in Dhangri area of Rajouri, around eight km from district headquarters, killing four civilians and wounding several others.
The wounded persons in the attack have been admitted in the district hospital Rajouri. Three persons are stated to be critical and they are likely to be airlifted to Jammu Medical Hospital.
The deceased civilians have been identified as Deepak Kumar, 23, Satish Kumar, 45, Pretam Kumar, 56, and Shishu Pal, 32. The police and the army have cordoned off the whole area and a search has been launched to trace the attackers. According to locals, the attackers entered three separate houses in the village and resorted to indiscriminate firing on the civilians.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says "the attackers are cowardly Pakistani terrorists" while the police have not identified the attackers yet.
While the police have not yet formally said anything of the attackers, referring to them as "armed men", BJP J&K President, Ravinder Raina, who has extensively worked in the area, told reporters in Jammu that “Pakistani terrorists are behind the attack” in Dangri village.
Raina said, “Terrorists on the first day of the New Year around 7 p.m. attacked civilians killing three to four civilians and wounded around ten. Among the wounded are children and women.”
Raina described the incident as an attack on humanity.
“This is a brutal and inhumane attack by cowardly Pakistani terrorists and they will have to pay for it,” he said. He said the villagers of Dangri are nationalists and the attackers will not be spared. He said “terrorists are being targeted from different corners in Jammu and Kashmir. As they are unable to face security forces, they have started targeting civilians,” Raina said.
What jas J&K Police said?
J&K Police's Additional Director General (Jammu Zone) Mukesh Singh initially said, “Firing took place at three houses, separated at a distance of around 50 metres from each other. Two civilians have succumbed to injuries and four others are injured.”
Later the death toll rose to four as two more people succumbed to injuries.
Quoting eyewitnesses, the officials said two suspected terrorists appeared in the village around 7 pm and opened indiscriminate firing on three houses and fled.
“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 said.
This official said a total of 10 persons were hit by the bullets and three of them were declared brought dead at the Government Medical College hospital Rajouri, while another critically injured succumbed while being airlifted to Jammu along with two other injured persons.
The injured have been identified as Pawan Kumar (38), Rohit Pandit (27), Saroj Bala (35), Ridham Sharma (17) and Pawan Kumar (32), he said.
Deeraj Kumar, sarpanch of Dangri, said gunshots were heard around 7 pm and after some time their intensity increased. He added he later received calls that there was firing by terrorists.
ADG Singh said police, along with the Indian Army and the CRPF, have launched a massive search operation to nab the two “armed men” behind the attack at Upper Dangri village, about eight kilometres from Rajouri town.
Grenade blast in Srinagar
Meanwhile the police in Kashmir said one person was wounded in a grenade blast in Hawal locality of Srinagar on Sunday evening.
“There was an attempt to throw grenade on a CRPF vehicle in crowded area of MK chowk it missed target and caused minor splinter injury to one local boy. Operations launched in area to nab the culprit.” The wounded person has been identified as Sameer Ahmed Malla son of Manzoor Ahmed Malla resident of Habak.
(With PTI inputs)