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Death dance in J&K

TERRORISTS ARE executing a master plan drawn in blood to avenge their humiliation at the hands of voters in the April 24 by-elections. Ignoring the call against taking part in the elections, 70 per cent voters had cast their votes. The terrorists also, of course, want to disrupt the peace dialogue in J&K. In the past two days, they have killed 35 Hindus in the twin mountainous districts of Doda and Udhampur.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 21:50 IST

TERRORISTS ARE executing a master plan drawn in blood to avenge their humiliation at the hands of voters in the April 24 by-elections. Ignoring the call against taking part in the elections, 70 per cent voters had cast their votes.
The terrorists also, of course, want to disrupt the peace dialogue in J&K. In the past two days, they have killed 35 Hindus in the twin mountainous districts of Doda and Udhampur.

In the early hours of Monday, suspected Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) militants gunned down 22 people and wounded 10 other in Kulhan village in Doda.

A couple of hours after Sunday midnight, the villagers were woken by persistent knocks and asked to assemble for an important meeting. Seeing that some of the men were dressed in combat dress, the villagers gathered at the house of a village elder -- only for the terrorists to spray them with bullets.

"That was the end of it," Rajinder Singh, a boy who survived the attack, told HT. Armymen and policemen arrived in Kulhan in the morning, after the survivors reached the Doda police station. S.P. Vaid, IGP (Jammu zone), said 22 people had died. Ten others were injured. Two are undergoing treatment at the Doda hospital, while eight have been shifted to the Jammu Medical College.

An eyewitness, Dayand Chand, said, "At around 2.30 a.m., six Urdu-speaking gunmen -- three wearing shalwar-kameez, three in camouflage dresses -- entered the village and asked a member of every family to accompany them for a meeting at the house of the village head."

Out of fear, the villagers followed the instructions and accompanied the militants. Chand said when they assembled at the house, the terrorists started firing indiscriminately and then ran away. “They kept firing at the house while running away,” he said. Chand’s son died in the attack. The massacre came two days ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Hurriyat Conference.

In the second incident, militants killed 13 Hindus they had abducted on Sunday from a village in adjoining Udhampur district. While four bodies were recovered on Sunday, nine were found on Monday from the high reaches of the Basantgarh area.

First Published: May 02, 2006 21:50 IST