Curfew In Rajouri As Militants Kill 6
18 August 2000
Srinagar: At least six persons who were members of a village defence committee (VDC) were gunned down and as many injured by unidentified militants in a Rajouri village late on Thursday evening. (According to UNI, militants of the Harkat-ul- Jehade-Islami were involved in the incident.) Apprehending trouble, the authorities have imposed indefinite curfew in Rajouri town. Reports said a group of unidentified militants descended on village Kot Dara, around 10 km from Rajouri town, barged into a few houses, and fired indiscriminately at the inmates, killing six persons on the spot. The six injured, including three women, have been hospitalised. The slain members are Vishwanath, Manohar Lal, Ashok Kumar, Ganesh Chand, Bishamber Dass and Purushottam Lal. (A report said one of the deceased was a woman.) All the deceased are stated to be members of VDCs set up by the Government to defend against militant attacks. All the VDCs have Hindu minority members in Rajouri, Poonch and Doda districts. Security forces have rushed to the area and started combing operations. Tension gripped the entire area and tempers ran high among the minority Hindu community. Authorities immediately announced the imposition of curfew in Rajouri to prevent any communal flare-up. Police, paramilitary forces and the Army were deployed to maintain peace. The DIG, Rajouri-Poonch, Mr. Ram Lubhaya, said curfew was imposed as a precautionary measure. The situation though tense is under control, he said. In the last few weeks Rajouri has seen an increase in militant activities. Only a week ago curfew was imposed in the town following the killing of a civilian when the Army opened fire.