- Deserves condemnation from everyone: LG; Terribly sad: Omar Abdullah
- GOI acting like an ostrich: Mehbooba
ANANTNAG: A member of the minority Pandit community was shot at and killed, while his brother was grievously injured, by militants Tuesday morning here in Shopian district of south Kashmir.
The slain has been identified as 45-year-old Sunil Kumar Pandit, son of Arjun Nath, resident of Chotipora village in Shopian district.
“He was a farmer by profession and lived in the village along with his family,” a police official from the district said.
He said that Kumar is survived by his three daughters and his wife. His brother Pitanbar Nath Pandit, alias Chintu, has been shifted to a Srinagar hospital for specialised treatment.
“We are taking regular updates from the hospital and we have been told he is responding well to the treatment,” the police official said.
The incident took place at about 11:30 AM Tuesday in the ancestral village of Kumar – where he and his brother were working in their apple orchard.
“Armed militants entered their orchard and opened indiscriminate fire at the two of them,” the police official said.
He said that Kumar died on the spot, while Chintu was rushed to a nearby hospital and then to Srinagar for treatment. “We have registered a case and investigation has been taken up in this regard,” the official said. “Searches were also carried out in the area to try and nab the attackers, who had managed to flee by then.”
This was the second attack in Kashmir on minority communities in less than twenty-four hours. Monday evening, a Rajput man was injured seriously in a grenade explosion. The incident had taken place in Gopalpora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district, where suspected militants hurled a grenade at members of the Rajput community.
The attacks on Pandits and other minorities in the Kashmir valley have continued unabated since last year, when a renowned chemist was shot dead in the busy Iqbal Park area of Srinagar.
Fear and panic have been palpable among Pandits and other minorities in May this year after the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, a Revenue department employee, in Chadoora area of Budgam district.
Most of the Pandits are yet to resume their duties since and have been demanding transfers to “safer” places.
Following the killing, condemnations and condolences kept pouring in from all quarters of political and social spheres in Kashmir. LG Manoj Sinha has yet again vowed to not spare people behind this barbaric act.
“Pained beyond words on the despicable terror act on civilians in Shopian,” Sinha tweeted. “The act deserves the strongest condemnation from everyone.” He also visited the injured Chintu at the army’s base hospital in Srinagar later in the day.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference VP, Omar Abdullah, said he was “terribly sad” over the incident. “I condemn the militant attack unequivocally,” he tweeted.
His tweet was followed by one from another former Chief Minister, PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, who took a dig at the Government of India (GoI) for acting like an ostrich.
“Terribly sorry to hear about the targeted killing in Shopian,” she tweeted. “GOI continues to behave like an ostrich with its head buried deep under the sand.”
She further wrote that every resident of J&K has become cannon fodder in Delhi’s quest for “manufactured normalcy”.
BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur said, “Strongly condemn the dastardly act of terror on innocent minority community members at Shopian in which Sunil Kumar was killed and another injured. Terror has no religion. Killers should be punished.”