RAJOURI: The recent terror attack in Dhangri village of Rajouri not only created a fear psychosis among the people, particularly the minority community, but also opened the wounds of the Bal Jarallan massacre that had taken place over two decades ago.
Bal Jarallan is a village four km ahead of Dhangri, the scene of deadly terrorist firing on January 1 and subsequent Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion the next morning which left a total of six civilians, including two cousin sisters, dead and several others injured.
The Bal Jarallan massacre had taken place on February 19, 1999, when terrorists had entered a marriage hall and sprayed bullets on the guests waiting for ‘Bharat’. Seven persons belonging to the minority community were killed and an equal number were injured in that incident.
Dalip Singh, a resident of Dhangri, said the latest incident had opened the old wounds and caused a scare among the local populace about the revival of terrorism in the border district.
“A number of my close relatives had gone to attend the marriage ceremony and we came to know about the incident only when the victims were being evacuated to a hospital while passing in front of our homes as there were no mobile phones in J&K at that time,” he said.
He said although all his relatives had escaped unhurt in the attack, people from the minority community suffered a big blow as it was the first such attack on minorities in their close vicinity.
Besides the Bal Jarallan, the other major terror attacks targeted against minorities in the Rajouri district in the past include the killing of seven persons in Swari village in 1997, the killing of five persons in Kotedhara in 1998, the killing of three persons in Nirojal in 2002, the killing of five persons in Patrara in 2003 and killing of five persons in Panglar in 2005.
“Now this Dhangri attack has not only given a fresh wound but also created a wave of terror among the minority community,” he said.
Sanjay Kumar said the Dhangri incident is a cause for major concern as it signals the revival of terror activities in the district after it was declared terrorism-free many years ago.
“The government should take all necessary measures to rebuild the confidence of the people in the security system and track down the attackers to ensure justice for the victims,” Kumar said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Rajouri, Mohammad Aslam had assured that the terrorists involved in the Dhangri incident would be neutralised soon. He also said various measures have already been taken to tackle the terror threat effectively.
“A massive exercise is underway to strengthen Village Defence Committees in the district for which special camps are going on in different villages. We are examining and servicing the weapons at these camps, while hundreds of VDC members have also been provided with ammunition,” the officer said.
He said the process of deploying the additional troops in sensitive areas and notorious infiltration routes is also in progress to instill a sense of security among the people. (PTI)