3 injured in ultra attack in J&K

At least three civilians were injured when militants opened fire near a liquor shop on Boulevard on the banks of the famous Dal lake here on Thursday evening.

Police said unidentified militants carrying pistols fired near a liquor shop situated close to a hotel on Boulevard, injuring three persons. Victims are identified as Fayaz Ahmad Khanday and Mohammad Sharief Sheikh of Srinagar, and Ravi Kumar of Jammu.

Eyewitnesses said panic gripped hundreds of tourists in the area after the gunshots were heard. Panicked shop owners were seen running for shelter with the tourists trying to get back to their hotels and houseboats in the vicinity.

Reportedly police and para-military CRPF troopers cordoned off the area and started search operations to nab the assailants. Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A local news agency KNS quoting a telephonic statement of HM spokesman Junaid-ul-Islam said, “We warn all the wine shop owners in Kashmir to close down their business or else they would meet the same fate.”

“Our men carried out the attack and we appeal the parents to keep their children away from waywardness,” Islam said.

Cinema halls and liquor shops were closed in the Valley in 1990s when militancy reared its head in the state. Though a few liquor shops operate in Srinagar in the security zones, consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited in the conservative Kashmiri society.

This attack has come at a time when more than seven lakh tourists visited Kashmir this year.

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