Anantnag: A Kashmiri Pandit living in Shopian district was shot at near his shop by unidentified gunmen late Monday evening, while two non-local labourers from Bihar were shot at, the second such attack in less than 24 hours, in Pulwama district on Monday afternoon.
The Kashmiri Pandit attacked in Shopian district has been identified as Bal Krishan, son of Janki Nath, a resident of Chotgam village in Shopian district.
“He has been shifted to hospital in a critical condition,” a health official from the district said.
A senior police official confirmed the incident and said that the suspected militants attacked Krishan near his medical shop in Chotpora at about 7:45 PM Monday evening.
“He was shot at multiple times and has been evacuated to the hospital,” the official said, “His condition remains critical,”
Following the shootout a contingent of government forces reached the area and conducted searches to try and nab the attackers.
In Pulwama district, the attack took place at about 1:30 PM, in Lajoora village, where Patlashwar Kumar and Joko Chowdary, both residents of Bihar, were shot at by pistol-borne men.
“Preliminary reports suggest that the two were on site of their work assignment. They were taking rest after having lunch when the militants struck,” a senior police official said, adding that the two of them were immediately shifted to hospital for treatment.
A health official told Kashmir Reader that the injuries were not serious and have been treated locally. “One of them had a bullet wound to his wrist, while another one was shot in his right thigh. Thankfully, both are out of danger,” the health official said.
Following the incident, a contingent of armed forces reached the area and conducted searches to try and nab the attackers. “The attackers had managed to flee, though. A case has been registered and further investigation has been taken up,” the official said.
Such attacks are not new in Kashmir. Last year many non-locals and at least one Kashmiri Pandit was killed by unidentified gunmen. There however had been a lull in such attacks, for several months, before it was broken on March 19.
“It is a worrying trend and the fact that all these attacks have taken place in Pulwama district makes it a major cause of concern for us,” the police official from Pulwama said. “But we are investigating and the culprits will be identified soon.”
The three attacks that have taken place prior to today’s attack were reported on March 19 in Aripal area of Pulwama; on March 21 in Gangoo village; and on April 3 in Lassipora village of the district.
In Sunday’s attack, two non-locals from Punjab were injured. The other two, injured in Aripal and Gangoo villages, were residents of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively.