June 2002 News

Anger among soldiers over Kaluchak killings

18 June 2002
The Asian Age

Palanwala: There is seething anger among the Army personnel against the Kaluchak massacre of May 14, when wives and children of the Army personnel were targetted by militants. The anger gets further heightened when intercepts of the communication between terrorists based in Pakistan and the ones operating in Jammu and Kashmir are received. These intercepts reveal messages such as ''Well done,'' ''Congratulations! We look forward to more Kaluchaks,'' and ''We can see the Indian Army discouraged.'' ''Their aim is to shatter the morale of the Indian Army by carrying out more such attacks,'' said a jawan. The Commander of the Palanwala Garrison, Major General Sudhir Sharma, described Kaluchak as a watershed event as it was for the first time that terrorists had deliberately targeted the families of Army personnel in a big way. Describing the modus operandi, Maj. Gen. Sharma pointed out that three of the militants involved in the attack went house to house, gunning down women and children. They avoided being in a house for too long in order to avoid being cordoned off. The Army personnel at all levels recount the instances of the killings that took place in Kaluchak, with anger clearly visible in their eyes. Maj Gen. Sharma said, ''They are like animals. We are prepared to take on their challenge.'' ''The terrorists want us to retaliate. We do not have to get into that thought process,'' he said. ''We are a professional Army. I have tremendous faith in the system. Iím sure we will get the right orders at the right time,'' said Maj. Gen. Sharma.


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