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Kashmiri Pandit Shot Dead, Brother Wounded by Militants

Anees Zargar |
This is the second attack on the minority community in the region within the last 24 hours.

File Photo.

Srinagar: One Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead and his brother wounded by militants in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of Shopian, south Kashmir, on Tuesday.

According to the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police, the deceased was identified as Sunil Kumar and his brother Pintu Kumar, sons of Arjun Nath Kumar. Sunil died on the spot while Pintu was shifted to hospital where he is undergoing treatment, the police said.

A joint team of the police, Army and paramilitary forces has cordoned off the area to hunt down the militants.

The attack was widely condemned by the administration and political parties, many of whom termed it a “heinous act of violence”.

Pained beyond words on despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian. My thoughts are with the family of Sunil Kumar. Praying for speedy recovery of injured. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for barbaric act will not be spared,” lieutenant general Manoj Sinha’s office tweeted.

Condemning the attack, former chief minister (CM) Omar Abdullah offered condolences to the family of the victims and said that the incident has left a trail of death and suffering. “Terribly sad news from South Kashmir today. An accident & a militant attack have left a trail of death & suffering. I condemn the militant attack in Shopian unequivocally in which Sunil Kumar was killed & Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences to the family,” he tweeted also referring to a bus accident in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam district in which six Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force personnel were killed.

J&K Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Altaf Thakur “strongly condemned the dastardly act of terror” against “innocent minority community members”. “Terror has no religion. Killers should be punished,” he said.

Former CM and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti accused the Narendra Modi government of mishandling the region by trying to “manufacture” normalcy.

Terribly sorry to hear about the targeted killing in Shopian. Condolences to the deceased’s family. GOI continues to behave like an ostrich with its head buried deep under the sand. Every resident of J&K has become cannon fodder in Delhi’s quest for ‘manufactured normalcy’,” Mufti tweeted.

People’s Conference head Sajad Lone tweeted: “Yet another dastardly attack by coward terrorists in Shopian. We strongly condemn this heinous act of violence. My condolences to the family.”

This is the second attack on the minority community in the region within the last 24 hours. On Monday, suspected militants hurled a grenade at Gopalpora village of Budgam district, central Kashmir, injuring one Karan Kumar Singh, who is undergoing treatment at a Srinagar hospital. 

Sunil’s murder is the fifth such incident in the region in August. More than 25 civilians and policemen have been killed in targeted attacks this year and as many as six Kashmiri Pandits have been murdered since the abrogation of Article 370 and the abolition of Article 35A in August 2019. Targeted attacks against civilians, including Kashmiri Pandits and non-local Muslim labourers, have escalated since then. 

The killing of a Kashmiri Pandit revenue official Rahul Bhat in May prompted the minority community to launch a protest demanding transfer of employees outside the Valley.

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