Srinagar, Aug 2: It has been a bloody Tuesday for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Early this morning, 18 labourers, most of them Biharis, were butchered in their sleep by unidentified gunmen, at Mir Bazar, Qazigund.
Before the shock could sink in, came news that 12 Muslims were killed in Gujjarnagar, Udhampur. This massacre was suspected to be in retaliation to the massacre of 25 Amarnath pilgrims in Pahalgam on Aug 1.
The same morning, six members of a family were killed in Achchbal; 11 Hindus butchered in Pogal Paristan in Banihal in Jammu region; eight people gunned down in Doda and seven in Kupwara.
With the Pahalgam toll going up to 30, the overall toll in the massacres over the past 24 hours has gone up to 92. An indefinite curfew has been clamped on Jammu, Udhampur, Kathua, Poonch and Rajouri in apprehension of communal clashes.
A high-level Central team headed by T.R. Kakkar has rushed to Jammu to take stock of the situation. The J-K Cabinet is holding an emergency meeting to evaluate the situation.
In New Delhi, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee declared that no hurdle can prevent India from pursuing peace in Kashmir. Vajpayee gave this assurance in the Lok Sabha while informing the House about the spate of massacres during the last 24 hours.
The Prime Minister said the massacres were the handiwork of militants backed by Pakistan who wanted to thwart India`s efforts to broker peace with the Hizbul Mujahideen.