Kashmir: Rajouri diary; Smallest coffin is the heaviest

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Cries and shrieks rent the air when Kaushal Kumar lit the pyre of five-year-old Vihan Kumar Sharma. Every eye became moist when his mother recited a heart-wrenching dirge for the youngest victim of the Rajouri terror attack.

A chirpy boy, Vihan was the darling of Dangri village. It is because of this reason that people are yet to come to terms with his death. For his parents, a video featuring Vihan has become a prized possession.

“Everyone is grief-stricken. No one has been able to sleep properly since the massacre. We can’t express our pain in words,” Dheeraj Kumar Sharma, Sarpanch of the village, told The Kashmir Monitor.

Vihan was among six killed in a twin terror attack at Dangri village in Rajouri early this week. In fact, he tried to pick up a box fitted with IED when it went off killing him on the spot. His teenage cousin too died in the blast. Earlier on Sunday evening, four people were killed and six others injured when terrorists stormed three houses of the minority community and fired indiscriminately on the inmates.

Sources said these targeted killings were an attempt to instill fear and incite communal tension. However, the administration and locals foiled their designs

For days, the village did not cook food. Every day people gather in hundreds outside the houses of the slain to express solidarity with their families. Emotions run high and tears well up in everyone’s eyes when they meet family members of the slain.

“Deepak Kumar’s family has almost been wiped out. Deepak had been recently in the fire service department. He was supposed to join his new job on Monday. But before that, he was killed. His brother battling for his life in the hospital. Their father had died a few years ago. You can well imagine the pain and trauma,” said Dheeraj.

According to the police, two terrorists targeted three houses barely 50 meters apart in upper Dhangri village. “As per the information, two terrorists came and targeted three houses in the Upper Dhangri area. Four casualties were reported. The search operation is on. Police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and Army troops have cordoned off the area. We will try to neutralize the two terrorists soon,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh said.

Sarpanch Dheeraj Sharma said it was a targeted killing because terrorists checked their Identity cards before shooting people dead. “They checked ID cards. They were looking for Hindus. It was a targeted killing. We have now demanded weapons for VDC,” he said.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said the perpetrators of the attack will not go scot-free. “Gin logo ne is gatna ko anjaam diya hai, pura hisab barabar kiya jayaga (Those who carried out the incident will be taught a lesson),” he said.__The Kashmir Monitor