Roshan Lal,37,was preparing to go to Dayalachak and fetch fresh vegetables for his shop at Haria Chak when the three terrorists in Army uniform suddenly emerged out of the forests.
Holding him at gunpoint,the bearded men asked him in Urdu to take them to Kathua town. Roshan bluffed them,saying Kathua was nearly 40 km to the east and it would take ages to reach there in an auto.
They then asked me to take them to the national highway,where they would board some other vehicle, Roshan tells The Indian Express at Government Medical College Hospital,Jammu,where he is being treated for bullet and splinter injuries.
When they did reach Chadwal,however,the terrorists did not step out. They asked me to take them to any big army or paramilitary camp, Roshan says.
I tried my best to bring them to the notice of police or paramilitary personnel,but there was no one in the early morning, he adds. I drove slow on the highway. I even thought of overturning my vehicle. I then drove toward Hiranagar hoping to take them towards the international border. When we reached a CRPF camp,they suddenly slapped me for taking them in the wrong direction and asked me to take them back towards the highway.
On the return leg,the three saw some people including cops outside Hiranagar police station and told him to stop. As they got off,Roshan Lal too jumped out. The terrorists opened fire and threw a grenade at him. He stretched out on the ground and got away with bullet wounds and splinter injuries in a leg and an arm.
The terrorists went to the police station where cops were beginning their day,bathing,brushing their teeth,performing yoga or ironing their clothes.
I was in my room on the first floor when I heard gunshots, says ASI Gangu Ram of Billawar. Instead of coming down to the ground floor,I went up on the second floor to find out where the firing was taking place. One of the terrorists saw me and opened fire. As I fell,he thought I was dead and went towards rooms on the second floor, he added.
On the second floor,terrorists knocked on the door of a room where constable Ratan Lal and another policemen were getting ready for the day. As they did not answer the knocks,the terrorists shot through the door and the cops jumped out of a window,fracturing their legs. The terrorists fired through the window,injuring Roshan Lal and killing his companion.
There were over two dozen policemen inside the police station; four were killed besides the owner of a shop. The policemen were still recollecting themselves when the terrorists left the police station in a truck,which the police had seized. They killed the helper of the truck too.
They made the truck driver take them to Samba. They got down on the highway and proceeded towards the Army camp. The driver eventually returned to Hiranagar. At the Army camp near Samba,the terrorists killed or fatally wounded an officer and three jawans before all three were killed by around 6 pm.