July 28th, 2015
Image Courtesy: Economic Times
Terror struck Punjab after 8 years of relative peace when militants crossed the India-Pakistan border in the early hours of 27 July 2015 and attacked the town of Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district. Intelligence agencies have identified the terrorists as belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). They managed to kill 7 Indians, and engaged security personnel in a heated 12-hour gun-battle.
There is still investigation going on over the source and motive of the attackers, and over why they chose unsuspecting Punjab. There are many theories floating around, but this article aims to pay respects to the policemen and civilians who lost their lives in the crossfire.
7 Indians lost their lives in the attack. 4 of them were security personnel, the rest civilians. Further deaths were prevented thanks to the alertness of a railway trackman, a bus driver and the brave policemen who gunned down all the terrorists.
Railway trackman ASHWANI SAINI, who noticed 5 bombs wired to the railway tracks on a bridge near the Parmanand railway station, which is 4 km away from Dinanagar. He immediately alerted the local police station, who, along with the railway authorities and the bomb disposal squad, defused the bomb. Amritsar-bound passenger train 54612 was scheduled to pass by the bridge. It was duly warned and ground to a halt only 100 yards away from where the bombs were spotted. Thanks to Ashwani, as many as 270 lives were saved.
Bus driver NANAK CHAND, who was driving a bus filled with 75 passengers. At 5:30 AM a masked man in the street signalled him to halt; Nanak ignored him and sped past him, even as the terrorists opened fire at the bus, injuring two passengers.
Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police BALJIT SINGH who was shot in the head in the heated gun-battle. The 49-year-old Baljit Singh became a policeman after his father was killed in a terrorist attack in Moga 31 years ago. He is survived by his wife and 2 daughters. Baljit Singh’s family was preparing for the wedding of his eldest daughter when the tragedy occurred. Family members and neighbors had to break the news of his untimely demise carefully to his wife who is a heart patient.
India salutes the brave men who ensured the security of the nation with their bravery. We mourn the 7 innocent people who lost their lives and the many more who were injured. Words cannot do justice to a nation’s grief, but we take some satisfaction knowing that the deaths of our brothers will be avenged.