Pampore Attack: When Villagers Disallowed Cremation of CRPF Man

Saima Bhat

SRINAGAR

The dead CRPF men in Pampore.
The dead CRPF men in Pampore.

In one of the deadliest attacks on June 25 at Pampore, eight CRPF personnel and two militants were killed and 21 others critically wounded.

This was the second attack on a bus carrying government personnel within three weeks. On June 3, militants fired at a bus carrying BSF personnel in Bijbehara, killing two of them.

CRPF personnel on board the bus, which came under attack, were returning from a target practice session. And all of the slain CRPF personnel were awaiting holiday sanction to visit their families.

Among the eight CRPF personnel killed, Constable Jagtar Singh, the first casualty in the attack was the driver of the bus.

Jagtar, a resident of Ropar Punjab, had spoken to his wife only 20 minutes before the attack. He had joined CRPF in 1994 and was posted in Jammu and Kashmir for seven years now.

Another sub-inspector Sanjay Kumar, who was also killed in the attack, has his family based in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh. He had joined CRPF in 1998, and was posted in Jammu and Kashmir for only two months.

Satish Chand, a resident of Meerat, had joined CRPF in 2002 and had been in Kashmir for two years now. Constable Kailash Yadav, a resident of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, had joined CRPF in 2000 and since then had been posted in Kashmir, Tripura and Chhattisgarh.

Injured CRPF men leaving the assault spot. (Photo: Javed Dar/KL)
Injured CRPF men leaving the assault spot.

Another constable who was killed in the attack, constable Santosh Saw was a resident of Tengra village in Aurangabad, Bihar. He had joined CRPF in 2009.

Sub-Inspector G Jayachandran had been with CRPF for 32 years. A resident of Nanthiyodu in Thiruvananthapuram district, he had served in many north Indian states before returning to J&K on June 2.

Head constable Vir Singh, of Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh, had joined CRPF in 1981. He had been in the Valley for two years.

As the news of Pampore attack spread, condemnations and grief messages sprouted in. But in the small village of Firozabad, one slain Vir Singh’s body was kept awaited for cremation. The upper caste residents of his village raised objections for using public place for his cremation and for erecting a statute of 52 year-old-Singh.

A Delhi based newspaper reported that “an unseemly display of caste prejudice almost halted Constable Vir Singh’s funeral at his village. It was only after the invention of district officials that they agreed to give up only a 10 by 10 metre plot for the last rites.”

Meanwhile, the CRPF will be extending a relief of Rs 1 lakh from the welfare fund of the force, Rs 20 lakh from the risk fund and Rs 15 lakh ex-gratia apart from insurance money to each victim family.

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