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Blood letting continues in Mahore

KS Correspondent

JAMMU: Mahore tehsil, which forms a part of the district Udhampur, is Muslim-dominated. It is one of those areas in Jammu province, which has been tasked by separatists for forcing Hindu minority out, in pursuit of infamous Dixon plan. Massacres and selective killings are aimed to create fear among Hindus and force them to migrate. The number of incidents involving attacks on Hindus in this tehsil point out that the minority community has never been so insecure as today. 

On June 4,2001 and on the intervening night of August 1 and 2 there were determined attacks to massacre the civilians. Alertness of the VDC members foiled the move. Another incident involved the shooting of two young girls, who due to their timely shifting to Jammu survived. On August 17, 2001 subversives set ablaze two houses of Chibbu Ram and Ram Saran in Sangldan. 

Unlike the massacres in Paddar, Doda the two recent massacres in Mahore did not draw as much national attention. On the eve of the Independence Day, notwithstanding the stepped-up security all over the Jammu region, militants gunned down five members of three Hindu families at Thandi Behak, about 5 kms from Mahore. As per reports, six members including three women and two brothers had gone to their dhoks in upper reaches of Sahar Badoi to celebrate Janamashtmi in an old temple. On the intervening night of 13th and 14th these families had decided to return but due to heavy rains decided to stay back in a Dhok at Thandi Behak Dhar. When the villagers were planning to sleep five heavily armed militants' including a local entered the Dhok and sprayed bullets on the villagers. Reports said they were asked to come out and then fired upon. All the villagers including the aged couples were killed on the spot. The victims were fired at a time when it was raining heavily. The killings started at 8.00 PM and after 15 mts the terrorists escaped to nearby Neelam hills. Lalita Devi, whose mother was also killed received minor injuries, reached the nearby police post 20 hours later to inform them about the massacre. The village to which the deceased belonged was 5 kms from Mahore, while the Thandi Behak Dhar is just 1½ hour trek on foot from Mahore and the nearest army post was just three kms away. 

The next morning Army engaged the villagers in the removal of the dead bodies. Militants had tied a grenade with one of the bodies (Pratap Singh), with its pin removed. As soon as the villagers tried to shift the bodies, grenade went off killing two civilians and wounding another. Last rites of the massacred villagers were performed in Sahar Badoi village later in the evening. Strong resentment was prevailing among local people against the killings. Reports added that some local sympathisers of the militants had informed the militants about minorities celebrating Janamashtmi festival in an old and historic temple in the upper reaches of Thanda Top. Due to the heavy infestation of mercenaries, Army had established full control of Neelam hills. Sources added, as a "confidence building measure", with Pakistan, Indian Army had withdrawn twenty thousand troops from J&K. Most of the troosp withdrawn were stationed in Mahore. 

The deceased have been identified as Pratap Singh (63) and Shiv Charan (68), both brothers and Surma Devi (60) wife of Shivcharan, Kamla Devi (56) wife of Pratap Singh, Guran Devi (48) wife of Faqir Chand and mother of Lalita. The two villagers killed in the explosion were identified as Ghulam Din (30) and his brother Fateh Mohd (27). 

Source: Kashmir Sentinel

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