Martyred RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma fought tirelessly against the ground network that feeds the terrorists in Kishtwar. He was the unsung champion who not only helped the army in eliminating many terrorists, but also played a key role in the rehabilitation of the Hindus who had migrated from Kishtwar following terrorism in 2001
The broad daylight killings of RSS Sah Prant Sewa Pramukh, Chanderkant Sharma and his Personal Security Officer (PSO), Rajinder Kumar, in Kishtwar on April 9 have agitated the local Hindus to the extent that they thronged the streets in protest. The way they protested at District Hospital in Kishtwar, where the killing took place on April 9 and also on April 10 during the curfew, show they would not sit silently until the culprits are booked and punished. They want final blow to the terrorists in the state. The prime reason for this anguish is that they feel they have lost their saviour who ensured them not only protection, but also looked after them as a guardian. Chandrakant Sharma is survived by two sons and wife. He was 48.
Fairwell to The Saviour of Hindus in Kishtwar: Huge gathering of people during the cremation of martyr Chanderkant Sharma (left) on April 10
It was third major terror strike in Kishtwar during the last five months starting with the brutal killing of senior BJP leader, Anil Parihar and his brother, Ajit Parihar at Parihar Mohalla on November 1, 2018.
According to reports, Chanderkant Sharma, who worked as a Pharmacist at Kishtwar District Hospital, was attacked by a masked terrorist inside the hospital premises. At about 12.45 pm, a terrorist, in the guise of a burqa-clad woman, entered the Hospital, brought out AK-47 rifle from his black bag and straightway targeted PSO Rajinder Kumar, killing him on the spot. However, Chanderkant Sharma tried to shift his location, but the terrorist targeted him, causing serious injuries. The terrorist escaped from the hospital within a couple of minutes taking along with him the AK-47 rifle of the slain PSO.
Seriously injured Chanderkant Sharma being shifted to Jammu Hospital by a helicopter
The attack seems to have been carried out with full planning as there are reports that the CCTV footage is not available as the chip, which records the footage was missing. Seriously injured Sharma was airlifted to Jammu for treatment, where he breathed his last at ICU. His body was taken from Jammu to Kishtwar, where his funeral took place on April 10 in the presence of senior RSS leaders and thousands of local people. The cremation of PSO Rajinder Kumar at Mughal Maidan was also joined by a large number of people.
The killing of RSS senior leader Chanderkant Sharma and his PSO Rajinder Kumar is a fresh bid to terrorise the local Hindus. It is part of a larger a game plan hatched by Pakistan, executed by terrorists and supported by some local politicians. If concrete steps were not taken now, many more patriots would be martyred in coming day Chanderkant Sharma was in the hit list of terrorists for a long time, and he had escaped two major bids on his life. Apart from leading various sewa activities in Jammu & Kashmir for many years, he played a key role in the rehabilitation of the Hindus who had fled Kishtwar during the massacres of 2000-2001. He had also mobilised the local Hindus in Village Defence Committees and also helped the army in elimination of many hardcore terrorists. Following threat to his life, he was provided with two PSOs.
Immediately after the attack, the administration imposed curfew in the area, called the Army to maintain law and order and snapped internet services. But the killing angered the local people and they came out to the streets, both on April 9 after the attack and also during curfew on April 10. According to reports, when the body of Chanderkant Sharma was taken for cremation at Chowgan Maidan, some youth irked over the police failure to eliminate or capture any of the accused. Meanwhile, RSS and BJP leaders including Prant Sanghachalak Brig (retd) Suchet Singh, Prant Pracharak Shri Rupeshji, BJP state president Shri Ravinder Raina, former Dy CM Dr Nirmal Singh and thousands of local people paid their tribute to martyr Chanderkantji.
Maj Gen (retd) GD Bakshi
My Salute to the Saviour of Hindus in Kishtwar
I am deeply saddened to know that the terrorists have shot dead the brave RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his Police Guard in Kishtwar on April 9. Not many people, out of Kishtwar, know that Shri Sharma was the man who had supported the army in 2001 when Lashkar-eTaiba terrorists had started genocide of Hindu Dogras of Kishtwar-Doda as was done with Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir Valley in 1989. In less than a month (August-September 2001), they had carried out three major massacres—one in Tagud (8 killed) next in Patimahal (5 killed) and third in Gulabgarh (13 killed). After those massacres, Hindus had started fleeing to Himachal Pradesh.
In those days I was posted in Kishtwar, and I had only two platoons of the jawans to guard 11,000 sq km area. Even if I had deployed one jawan on the distance of one km, about one-third area would have been unguarded. We had Village Defence Protection Committees, but the terrorists were killing people taking out of the villages. Hence, the frightened Hindus had started fleeing. I then thought that it could not be curbed being defensive. At that time Shri Chanderkant Sharma helped me to track down and kill the LeT group that was carrying out the mass killings. We followed LeT terrorists for one month and eliminated their three main commanders Mustafa, Ghulam and Uber.
Then we sought the help of Shri Chanderkant Sharma to get back all the Hindus who had fled to Himachal; otherwise, the Dogras of Kishtwar would have met the same fate as the Kashmiri Pandits, who are still languishing in refugee camps.
We could do that only because of the tireless efforts of Chanderkantji and his associates, who all have been killed in the past. Now Chanderkantji has also been killed in revenge.
I am still of the opinion that we cannot eliminate terrorists being defensive. We must be offensive. The lives of the patriots like Chanderkantji must not be wasted. The people must remember his zeal and spirit. Coming generations will remember his martyrdom. If Hindus still live in Kishtwar, it is because of Chanderkantji and other RSS workers. As a soldier, I salute this brave heart for his cooperation at the very crucial phase. It is sad that all that we did is being undone because some people are so keen ‘To Gale Lagao Terrorists’ campaign in J&K. Tragic News indeed.
My salute to the brave patriot who is going unsung and unavenged. The forces deployed there should go all out to track and kill the people who have done it as fast as possible.
(As told to Dr Pramod Kumar on phone)
However, Special Investigating Team (SIT) has been constituted for investigation with Dy. SP Headquarters, Kishtwar, Aiyaz Sheikh as head, the Police say the killings have been executed by trained terrorists. Till the time of going to press, the police had detained nine persons and were likely to interrogate two surrendered terrorists posted in District Hospital Kishtwar to probe ‘internal sabotage’ as CCTVs in the hospital were found non-functional and they could give vital clues.
Brig. (Retd) Jagdish Gagneja
The Irreplaceable Loss for Patriots: RSS
RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi condemned the killing of Shri Chanderkant Sharma in strongest words and described it an irreplaceable loss for the Patriots. In a statement issued on April 9, Shri Joshi said: “We are deeply anguished and sad over the brutal killing of Sah Prant Sewa Pramukh of RSS Chandrakant Ji and his security personnel in a terrorist attack at Kishtawar in Jammu & Kashmir today. The RSS strongly condemns this act of cowardice. He was the bulwark of the fight against terrorism in Doda Kishtwar and a rallying point for nationalist forces. His sacrifice is an irreplaceable loss for the organisation and the Patriots in Jammu & Kashmir especially the Hindu Society. May God bless the departed souls and give strength to their families to bear the loss. We believe that their sacrifice will not go in vain and the swayamsevaks and the whole society will get inspired by his work and life to take the fight against terrorism to the logical end. We urge the state government to find the perpetrators of this ghastly act and punish them severely at earliest possible.”
On April 9, when the attack was carried out, Union Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Dr Jitendra Singh, who is BJP candidate for Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat, was in the state and he immediately reached Kishtwar and handed over his helicopter in which he was campaigning for airlifting Sharma to Jammu. Sharma was flown and admitted in Government Medical College, Jammu, in critical condition, where he succumbed to his injuries. His body was later airlifted to Kishtwar late in the afternoon. Dr Singh also spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Governor Satya Pal Malik and Advisor Incharge Home K Vijay Kumar from Kishtwar. He stressed on regular patrolling in Kishtwar on the lines of Kashmir valley to ensure that the terrorism is curbed. Later, Shri Rajnath Singh talked to the Governor over phone to take an assessment of the situation. Dr Jitendra Singh told the media that the attack was aimed at disturbing communal harmony in the district.
Similar killings in Punjab too
RSS workers seem to be in the hit list of the anti-nationals for some time. Apart from Kerala and West Bengal, many have been killed in Punjab also. On October 17, 2017, an RSS worker Ravinder Gosain was killed in Ludhiana. Two unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot dead 60-year-old Shri Gosain in Kailash Nagar locality of Ludhiana. Shri Gosain was returning home after attending a morning RSS shakha when he was attacked. He died on the spot while the attackers fled.
Similarly on August 6, 2016, another senior RSS leader Brig. (Retd) Jagdish Gagneja was shot at in Jalandhar. He later died at DMC hospital in Ludhiana. In January 2016, RSS volunteer Naresh Kumar was attacked in Ludhiana when bike-borne unidentified persons opened fire at him. However, he escaped unhurt.
Chanderkant Sharma was an RSS swayamsevak since his childhood and served the organisation in different capacities. He had also completed the third year OTC. He did a highly significant task of maintaining the morale of the local people in the period of terrorism. He organised the local Hindus and also cooperated with the army. He played a key role in the resettlement of many Hindu families in Kishtwar who had migrated outside the state. Because of which, he was targeted by terrorists several times. He inspired many local youths to work for the underprivileged, exploited and helpless people in the state. Apart from various sewa activities, Chandrakantji also built a temple in Kishtwar along with the local people and organised fair on Baisakhi every year. Most of his time was spent in Sangh work and social activities. He was also active in the Village Defence Committee during the terrorism. He was actively touring Doda Vibhag and had good contact with the religious, social organisations in the area.
Such cowardice attacks cannot get down the morale of the Hindu society. The Sangh has prepared a complete army of the patriots who are always ready to sacrifice their lives to the nation. It is surely a major loss to the RSS as the organisation has lost a fearless, combative and devout volunteer, it is also an irreparable loss to the local Hindus and the patriotic people, who are foiling all game plans of the anti-nationals in the state.