2002 Kaluchak massacre

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2002 Kaluchak Massacre
Location Kaluchak, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Date 14 May 2002 (IST, UTC+05:30)
Target Tourist bus, Army camp
Attack type
Shooting
Deaths 31[1]
Non-fatal injuries
47[1]
Perpetrators Lashkar-e-Taiba[1][2]

2002 Kaluchak Massacre refers to an incident on 14 May 2002 near the town of Kaluchak in the Indian state Jammu and Kashmir when three terrorists attacked a tourist bus from the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and killed 31 people.[3][4]

The Massacre[edit]

The terrorists reportedly crossed the Line of Control from Pakistan and boarded the bus at Vijaypur. When the bus neared Kaluchak, they shot the driver and the conductor and opened fire on the passengers.On hearing the shots in the bus the Indian army soldiers fired in their direction. The terrorists who were dressed in Indian army fatigues, while returning fire, attempted to escape in the direction of the Army's family quarters, located on the main road. They also threw grenades on some vehicles parked in the vicinity. Upon entering the family quarters they again fired on Army family members present in the premises. The terrorists were eventually cordoned off and killed by 10 am

There were a total of 31 killed, including 3 Army personnel, 18 Army family members and 10 civilians. There were 47 wounded including 12 Army personnel, 20 Army family members and 15 civilians.[1] The dead included ten children.[5]

All the three terrorists killed in this incident were Pakistani Nationals. Indian investigations revealed that their names were Abu Suhail of (Faislabad, Pakistan; Abu Murshed (Mohammed Munir) of Salamatpura in Gujranwala Pakistan and Abu Javed (Amzad Salam Bin Mohammed Gisha) of Guda Giriya Gujranwala, Pakistan. The government sources stated that certain food items like biscuits and chocolates found on the persons of the gunmen revealed that they were purchased from Zafarwal, Pakistan.[1][6]

Reaction in India[edit]

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee termed the massacre "a most inhuman and brutal carnage".[7] Hundreds of army personnel and their family members held candlelight prayers on Friday night in memory of those killed in one of the worst ever terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, in May.

Jaswant Singh, the then Minister for External Affairs, writes in his book A Call To Honour – In Service of Emergent India that the Kaluchak incident was the last straw that almost led to war between India and Pakistan (see 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff), and was the closest that Pakistan and India came to war.

The then Indian Union Minister of State for External Affairs Omar Abdullah blamed Pakistan for this massacre and argued for escalating the response against Pakistan because of the sheer barbarity of this attack.[8] Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah also blamed Pakistani intruders calling them animals.[9]

Members of Parliament of India unanimously blamed Pakistan for this attack.[10]

International reactions[edit]

The President of the United States George W. Bush condemned the massacre as a "terrible and outrageous act" and said that he was "appalled at the incident".[11]

The Presidency of the European Union "strongly condemned the brutal terrorist attack in Kaluchak ( Jammu and Kashmir), which resulted in the death of numerous innocent civilians" and expressed sympathy to the Government of India for its problems in controlling terrorism in Kashmir.

Similar condemnations were expressed by the leaders of Germany, Japan and Russia.[11]

Pakistan arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed lending credence to the banned outfits connection with this attack.[1][5]

The Australian government while declaring Lashkar-e-Taiba a terrorist organisation based in Muridke near Lahore, Pakistan in 2003 attributed this massacre to it.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Lashkar was ‘involved’ in Kaluchak attack, The Tribune, 18 May 2002. Retrieved 2009-03-15. Archived 2009-05-14.
  2. ^ a b "Australian National Security – Lashkar-e-Tayyiba". Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Kaluchak keeps the flag of vengeance flying, The Guardian, 8 June 2002
  4. ^ BUILDING CONFRONTATION, [[Frontline (magazine)|]], 25 May 2002
  5. ^ a b Gunmen Kill 30, Including 10 Children, in Kashmir, The New York Times, 15 May 2002
  6. ^ "Kaluchak Massacre Kaluchak massacre, Ministry of External Affairs, India". Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  7. ^ Kaluchak massacre most inhuman: PM, Rediff.com, 21 May 2002
  8. ^ 'Indian people's patience has run out', [[Frontline (magazine)|]], 25 May 2002. Retrieved 2009-03-15. Archived 2009-05-14.
  9. ^ Farooq blames Pakistan for Kalu Chak massacre, Rediff.com, 15 May 2002. Retrieved 2009-03-15. Archived 2009-05-14.
  10. ^ Standing together, [[Frontline (magazine)|]], 15 May 2002. Retrieved 2009-03-15. Archived 2009-05-14.
  11. ^ a b International Community Condemns Massacre of Innocent People by Terrorists in Jammu

External links[edit]