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Pak shelling turns reunion at Bhaidooj into funeral in Jammu’s ghost village

Mara Ram of Rangnoor camp in Jammu’s Ramgarh sector, his daughter (Anju Devi) and two of his grandsons were killed on Tuesday in Pakistan shelling.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2016 10:23 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times
Ceasefire violation,Rangoor Camp,Ramgarh sub-sector
Relatives of Mara Ram, who was killed in Pakistani shelling, mourn during his funeral at Rangoor camp in Ramgarh sector on Wednesday.(PTI Photo)

Sixty-five-year-old Mara Ram from Rangnoor camp would not have thought as soon as he reaches home for Bhai Dooj he and his entire family would be killed in Pakistan shelling.

Villagers narrated their experience of how Pakistan “unleashed carnage”, killing six of their brethren, four alone from Ram’s family, in Ramgarh sub-sector on Tuesday.

Ram’s pockmarked house wore testimony to death and destruction unleashed by Pakistan. A tri-cycle with which his two grandchildren (Abhi, 5, or Rishabh, 7) were playing in the verandah, blood-stained tumblers and shards of windowpanes were the tell-tale signs.

His three daughters with their husbands and their children, besides Ram’s son, who is in the army, had come home for Bhai Dooj. “There was a big explosion on Tuesday morning followed by screams. Whether I sensed the situation or out of instincts, I rushed to Ram’s house and saw death and destruction everywhere. One of his grandsons…Abhi or Rishabh, I am not sure, had his arm dangling from his shoulder,” recollects 55-year-old Tara Chand, Ram’s neighbour.

“I immediately took out my mobike and my wife Kanta Devi held the boy in her arms on the pillion seat. We were rushing to Ramgarh hospital and enroute Camore village, 2 km from here, my wife asked me to give the little boy some water. I stopped for it but he was no more,” says a stone-faced Chand.

Barely 3 km from Zero Line and virtually at the mouth of Pakistani cannons from four Pakistani posts, Rangoor Camp resembled a ghost village.

The deathly silence, however, was shattered around 11 am on Wednesday by shrills, screams and wails when body of Mara Ram was brought to his house.

Sixty-five year old Gurdas Lal was furious. “There were no ambulances here….none to pick up bodies and rush injured to hospital. This is what Modi (PM) has given us. Now, they (army and BSF) are telling us to look after our cattle and leave immediately to safer places,” Lal says.

The village has more than 600 families and a population of 3,500. Another Ravi Kumar, 44, says, “What could be more ironical. Mara Ram and his daughter (Anju Devi) besides two of his grandsons were killed on Tuesday. Even after 24 hours of the tragedy, none from the Samba district administration and the local BJP MLA Chander Prakash Ganga, who is minister in the state government, has visited the family.”

Read more| Kids among 8 villagers killed, 22 wounded in Pak shelling along J-K border

First Published: Nov 03, 2016 08:35 IST