It is important that society today remembers the 30th anniversary of the IRA murder of one of the youngest victims of the Troubles, six month old Nivruti Mahesh Islania, a victims campaigners has said.
She was murdered along with her father, RAF Cpl Maheshkumar (Mick) Islania, 34, as they left a petrol station at Wildenrath in Germany in 1989.
The family were of Indian origin and she was the second youngest person to be killed in the Troubles.
As her family were about to drive off, two men walked up and opened fire with automatic weapons. Even as the car had crossed the street and mounted the pavement, the gunmen followed the car and kept firing at it. Mr Islania was shot repeatedly and his baby daughter died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
After the attack, Mrs Islania would not leave her daughter. One eyewitness said: “A very upset woman was holding the baby. She refused to let it go. She sat on the chair wrapped in a blanket clutching the little child. It was horrific”.
Mr Islania was the supervisor in the communications centre at RAF Wildenrath.
Kenny Donaldson of the South East Fermanagh Foundation said the 30th anniversary of baby Islania’s murder must be remembered.
“Thirty years on it is important that wider society has an understanding of the brutality of that crime,” he said. “Baby Nivruti was murdered whilst being nursed by her own distraught mummy, who survived the attack. Her dad was a member of the RAF and was merely seeking to do his best to provide for his young family.
“The Provisional IRA were not fighting any noble cause, their actions were the actions of terrorists mounting an insurrection with the objective of overthrowing the Northern Ireland state”.
Former soldier turned military history Ken Wharton detailed the attack.
“Smita started the car up and began to drive away,” he said. “Watching from over the other side of the street were two armed PIRA men, one of whom was almost certainly the psychopathic killer, Dessie Grew.”
Mr Wharton added: “Grew and the other man fired into the passenger side of the car and then through the rear windscreen.”
He noted the IRA said afterwards that it was “certain that our volunteers were not aware of the child’s presence when they opened fire”.
But Mr Wharton added: “The real giveaway and a real indication of PIRA’s feelings occurred when it was reported that Republican prisoners in HMP Maze actually cheered when news of the double murder came through.”
Lost Lives said German police issued a warrant for Grew’s arrest but that he was shot by the SAS a year later.