SRINAGAR, Aug 16: A Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead and his brother injured by militants in an apple orchard in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday, police said.
A police official identified the deceased as Sunil Kumar and the injured as Pintu Kumar.
“Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of #Shopian. One person died and one injured. Both belong to minority communities. Injured person has been shifted to hospital. Area #cordoned off. Further details shall follow,” a police spokesperson said.
Militants have stepped up attacks in the Kashmir valley over the past week. A total of 15 civilians and six security forces personnel have been killed in targeted attacks this year.
A policeman was killed in Nowhatta on Sunday and a migrant labourer from Bihar was shot dead in Bandipora last week.
The migrant labourer Mohd Amrez was the fourth non-local to be killed in a targeted attack in Kashmir this year.
Two grenade attacks also took place in Budgam and Srinagar districts on Monday.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and political leaders of various parties have condemned the killing in Shopian district.
“Pained beyond words on the despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian. My thoughts are with the family of Sunil Kumar. Praying for a speedy recovery of the injured. The attack deserves the strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for the barbaric act will not be spared,” Sinha tweeted.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also condemned the killing.
“Terribly sad news from South Kashmir today. An accident and a militant attack have left a trail of death and suffering. I condemn the militant attack in Shopian unequivocally in which Sunil Kumar was killed and Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences to the family,” he said.
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.”
People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone condemned the attack as a “heinous act of violence” and expressed his condolences to the family of the victims.
Meanwhile, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharash Samiti (KPSS) has asked the community members to leave the valley in wake of the increased attacks on them by the militants.
“With another deadly attack on Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir, the terrorists have made it clear that they are going to kill all the Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir valley,” KPSS chief Sanjay Tickoo said.
Tickoo said he has urged all Kashmiri Pandits to leave the valley and move to safer places like Jammu and Delhi.
“We have seen this for the last 32 years now. The government has failed in providing security to minorities, especially Kashmiri Pandits. How long are we going to die like this? Enough is enough,” he told PTI.
The KPSS chief claimed the victims of Tuesday’s attack had approached senior officials of the administration to move them to safer places in view of the intelligence inputs that suggested that terrorists might target more minority community members. (PTI)