A day after a resident of Jammu, Ranjit Singh, was killed in a targeted attack by terrorists in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, protestors blocked the border road in Rajouri district on Wednesday refusing to lift his body till adequate cash relief was given to his wife and a government job announced for a member of his family. They alleged that the administration was indulging in discrimination in providing relief to victims of terrorism.
On Tuesday night, 52 years old Ranjit Singh was killed and three others wounded when burqa-clad motorcycle-borne terrorists tossed a grenade inside a newly opened liquor shop in the heavily guarded Dewan Bagh locality. The shop is located close to the office of the district police chief and senior officers of the Army also reside in the area.
Residents of the Bakra village near Sunderbani blocked the Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch road for several hours while officers of the district administration vainly tried to persuade them to disperse. The protesters were demanding an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh for the family of the deceased and employment to one of the family members. They were not satisfied with the Rs One lakh compensation offered to them describing it as a “pittance”.
Protesters said that the deceased, who was a father of four daughters and a minor son, was the sole breadwinner for the family.
The J&K government has come under severe criticism for the cycle of targeted killing of civilians by terrorists and terror-related incidents. These targeted killings are carried out irrespective of the caste or religion of the victims. While Ranjit Singh, a Hindu from Jammu, was killed on May 17 in Baramulla, Shoib Ahmad Ganie, a Kashmiri Muslim, was killed in cross-fire between security forces and terrorists in south Kashmir’s Shopian on 15 May, a Kashmiri Muslim policeman Reyaz Ahmad Thokar was shot dead by terrorists at his home in Pulwama on 13 May, and on 12 May a Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat was shot dead by terrorists in the tehsildar’s office at Chadoora in Budgam.
It is worth mentioning here that the terrorists have been opposing the reopening of liquor shops that were shut across Kashmir 32 years ago in 1990 following the diktat of terror outfits. The J&K administration, however, opened at least ten liquor shops in the Valley in the past few months.
In 1990, terrorists had later attacked several liquor shops and cinema halls in the Valley forcing their closure.
CCTV footage of a burqa-clad terrorist hurling a grenade at the newly opened liquor shop in Baramulla has surfaced. Police said that at around 8 pm, two bike-borne terrorists stopped near the newly opened liquor shop located in Dewan Bagh area of Baramulla. After this, a terrorist sitting on a bike wearing a burqa attacked the shop with a grenade.
Police further said that after committing the crime, both of them fled on their bike. Four employees working in the shop were injured in the attack. They were admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment while Ranjit Singh succumbed to injuries. The other three injured also belong to the Jammu region.