Terror hits BJP rally in Doda

via www.dailypioneer.com published on May 13, 2006

Two Bharatiya Janata Party workers were killed and at least 35 injured when terrorists hurled a powerful grenade on a party procession near the Doda bus stand on Saturday.

Tension gripped the hilly district after the incident as the town observed near total bandh in protest.

For almost an hour, doctors at the Doda district hospital had to halt work as BJP workers stormed the hospital demanding better treatment facilities to the injured. Later, the district administrative officers brought the situation under control.

While most State BJP leaders rushed to the spot, former BJP chief LK Advani is expected to arrive on Sunday to take stock.

Since May 1, BJP workers had been protesting the killing of 19 Hindus at Kulhand in Doda and demanding better security in the area besides automatic weapons for members of the village defence committees to counter militant attacks.

State BJP general secretary Bali Bhagat who was participating in the demonstration said BJP workers and Kulhand residents were marching towards the bus stand when they were attacked by militants at 11.25 am.

Several BJP workers and by-standers were injured. Bharat Bhushan of Doda and Basant Ram of Batote died at the hospital. Seven others were shifted to the Jammu Medical College in a critical condition.

BJP leaders claimed the incident took place because no police protection was provided to processionists. Jammu IG, SP Vaid, said no militant group had taken responsibility for the attack.

One of the injured Bodh Raj who received splinter injuries in his eye said: “As we were going towards the bus stand, a powerful explosion took place. For a minute everything went black.”

State BJP vice-president Prof Hari Om condemned the grenade attack and demanded President’s rule in the State on grounds that militants were getting support from the State Government and its civil and police authorities.

Despite assurances by the Congress-led UPA Government at the centre and by Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, no Army pocket had been established in the sensitive areas of Doda and Udhampur districts where minorities are gripped by fear following the May 1 massacre of 32 Hindus in Kulhand.

At New Delhi, party president Rajnath Singh said the party was outraged over the attack and would launch a nationwide stir against UPA’s failure to counter Pak-sponsored terrorism.


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