At least eight people of the same family were shot dead over an old enmity in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday.
According to police, Raja Mushtaq’s heirs were murdered by Raja Sarwar and his companions in the remote Garoun village of Samani valley of Bhimber district, over an old dispute.
According to the police, Raja Mushtaq and his accomplices murdered three members of the Raja Sarwar’s family some 18 years back. The case was tried in the court, concluding with rapproachment between both the groups.
However, their enmity was reignited later on, when Raja Mushtaq was allegedly gunned down by the rival group, said an official. The police had booked 12 accused belonging to the Sarwar group. Of these, six had been found innocent and released after investigations. The case against the rest of the accused was under trial in the District and Sessions Court Bhimbher. Since then, both families remained at daggers drawn.
Early Wednesday morning, the heirs of Raja Mushtaq were on their way for a case proceeding in the court when the rival party opened fired at them, killing all eight persons on spot. “They were ambushed by armed gunmen belonging to the rival group, who sprayed a volley of bullets on their vehicle,” a police official investigating the case told The Express Tribune, on a condition of anonymity. The assailants managed to flee after the incident, he added.
The deceased have been identified as Raja Gohar, Raja Ejaz, Raja Shehzad and their father Raja Mumtaz besides four others, Raja Bilal, Raja Shamraiz, Raja Amjad and Raja Nomi.
Meanwhile, the bereaved family members rushed to the scene and staged a protest. They placed the bodies on the Samani-Bhimbher Road, declaring to continue the protest till the arrest of the accused. Later, they shifted the bodies to their house after the assurance by Deputy Commissioner Khawaja Naeem to arrest the accused within the next 24 hours.
According to police, both groups are close relatives. The bodies have been shifted to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Samani. Meanwhile, the police have cordoned off the area and an inquiry has been started for the arrest of the accused.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2012.
More in Jammu & KashmirAs police fail to arrest assailants, victims’ family gives 24-hour deadline