Three Jammu hostages killed by militants, seven rescued


Jammu : Seven members of the family in whose house three terrorists had barged in were rescued by the army following a gunbattle but three other hostages were killed by the militants in Chinore on the outskirts of this winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, police said Thursday.

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Billu Ram, the owner of the house in which the terrorists were holed up, and his family members were rescued following the gunbattle that lasted till late Wednesday. However, a neighbour, his son, and a teacher present in the building were killed by the three terrorists, who were later shot dead by army personnel.

“The first to be brought out was Sarita, the wife of Billu Ram. She was injured. After that, his four children were rescued,” a police officer told IANS.

The youngest of the children was Vipin Kumar, 2, while the other three were Kajal, 4, Ishant, 6 and Sheetal, 9.

“Later, Billu Ram, his brother Tarsem and his wife Ritu were rescued. Some of the hostages are still in shock,” the officer added.

The police said three terrorists had crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from the Kanachak sector of the border with Pakistan Tuesday morning. They were intercepted at the police check post of Chinore, about 20 km north from the centre of Jammu, Wednesday morning.

The three militants, dressed in police uniforms and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, shot dead a junior commissioned officer (JCO) and then hijacked a three-wheeler. They then fired indiscriminately, killing Shabeet Hussain, a milkman, and motorcyclist Naseeb Singh before killing the three-wheeler driver, Vijay Kumar, police said.

The guerrillas then entered Billu Ram’s house. Police and army personnel cordoned off the area and had a gun battle with the militants. Grenade explosions and gun shots were heard in the area as the single-storey building was perforated with bullet marks. By late Wednesday, the army personnel managed to kill all three militants.

This was the second major gun battle in Jammu region in less than three and a half months. Six people were killed in Samba town, 40 km southwest of Jammu May 11.

According to defence sources, militants had infiltrated May 8 from across the international border in Samba sector before they surfaced May 11 morning and killed civilians and soldiers. Three militants were killed in that battle.