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Kashmiri Pandit farmer shot dead by militants in Kashmir

Since last October militants have stepped up attacks on migrant labourers and non-locals in Kashmir
Last Updated : 16 August 2022, 10:54 IST
Last Updated : 16 August 2022, 10:54 IST
Last Updated : 16 August 2022, 10:54 IST
Last Updated : 16 August 2022, 10:54 IST

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In yet another targeted killing, a Kashmiri Pandit (Hindu) farmer was shot dead while his brother was injured after militants fired upon them in Chotigam village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district Tuesday.

Reports said the siblings were working in their orchards when militants riding a motorcycle fired upon them from a close range resulting in the death of Sunil Kumar (45), while his brother Pintu Kumar (43) was grievously injured.

“#Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of #Shopian. One person died and one injured. Both belong to minority community. Injured person has been shifted to hospital. Area #cordoned off. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

Immediately after the incident, police and security forces rushed to the area to nab the attackers. No militant outfit had claimed responsibility for the attack till this report was filed. On April 4 this year, Sonu Kumar Balaji was shot and injured by the militants in the same village.

“Pained beyond words on the 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,” J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha tweeted.

On Monday, as the country celebrated its 76th Independence Day, militants threw a grenade at a house in Budgam and injured a civilian identified as Karan Kumar Singh.

The attack, the latest in a sequence of targeted killings, has created a sense of fear among the minority community members in the Valley. Since last October, militants have stepped up attacks on migrant labourers and non-locals in Kashmir.

The Resistance Front, a shadow outfit of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, has claimed responsibility for most of these attacks. TRF has warned that people working with the RSS, intelligence agencies and everyone other than indigenous Kashmiris would be treated as “occupiers” if they purchase property in J&K and are targeted.

In May this year, the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit employee – Rahul Bhat – at a government office in Budgam sparked widespread protests by the community. Since then, over 5000 Kashmiri Pandit employees are not attending their duties, fearing targeted attacks.

Bhat had received a government job under the Prime Minister’s package for the KP community that was forced to flee the Valley when insurgency erupted in 1990.

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Published 16 August 2022, 07:22 IST

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