Updated: August 14, 2021 8:01:10 am
Even medical shops were shut as Rajouri observed a complete bandh against a grenade attack — on a BJP leader’s house — that left a two-year-old boy dead and seven others injured on Thursday night.
Shafiq Mir, Chairman of the Buffliaz Development Council, said such a bandh was never seen before in the communally sensitive town with a nearly equal population of Hindus and Muslims. The killing of a two-year-old made both the communities stand united irrespective of the political affiliation of the family targeted, he said.
The call for bandh was given by Sanatan Dharam Sabha and Muslims too responded by downing the shutters of their establishments in protest against the attack.
Identified as Veer Singh, the deceased was the nephew of BJP’s Mandal president Jasbir Singh, who along with his seven-month-old child, parents, brother and two teenage nephews, was injured as a grenade was lobbed at his house near Khandli bridge.
No outfit has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.
The site of the attack is barely a kilometre away from the Rajouri District Police Lines where DGP Dilbagh Singh had Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review security ahead of the Independence Day.
Meanwhile, the incident evoked widespread condemnation across the Union Territory.
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha tweeted, “I strongly condemn the cowardly attack in the house of a political leader in Rajouri in which a 2-year old child was killed & others were injured. My deepest condolences to family & prayers for early recovery of injured. Perpetrators of this heinous act will be brought to justice soon.”
BJP cancelled a programme of its Sanskritik Cell which was scheduled to celebrate Independence Day, Raksha Bandhan and Janmashtami. The party’s UT vice president Yudvir Sethi demanded justice while former MLC Vibodh Gupta met the family of the deceased and appealed to people to maintain peace and communal harmony in the district.
The People’s Conference unequivocally condemned the incident, saying attack on mainstream workers for their political affiliations is the worst violation of human rights. “Such killings only add to our collective suffering.”
Apni Party said the presence of militants in Rajouri is a cause of worry and said those behind the crime must be punished.
Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma called it a conspiracy to revive terrorism in border Rajouri district.