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Jammu & Kashmir

Punjab trader, C’garh labourer killed in J&K

October 17, 2019 04:53 AM

HT Correspondent


Srinagar : Suspected militants on Wednesday shot dead an apple trader from Punjab and a labourer from Chhattisgarh in separate incidents in south Kashmir, taking the death toll of people from outside of the state killed by militants to three since Monday, the police said.

The brick kiln worker from Chhattisgarh was killed by two militants in Kashmir’s Pulwama. In Shopian, another civilian, who was with the apple trader, was critically injured in Wednesday’s attack.

Three militants were also killed by security forces in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, officials said.

The attacks come in a week when officials relaxed a ban on post-paid mobile calls after a 72-day blackout following the effective revocation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu & Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union territories.

In the first incident this week, two militants, including a suspected Pakistani national, killed a truck driver from Rajasthan and assaulted an orchard owner in Shopian district on Monday evening, the police said, calling it an attempt to intimidate people against resuming normal life in the Valley.

On Wednesday, Charanjeet Singh and Sanjeev – hailing from Punjab — were shot at Trenz by three-four militants around 7.30pm, the police said. They were taken to the district hospital in Pulwama, where Singh succumbed to his injuries, while Sanjeev is critical, police said.

“The area has been cordoned and a search [operation] is in progress,” the Jammu & Kashmir Police wrote on its Twitter handle.

Police said they were also trying to track the killers of Sethi Kumar Sagar, a resident of Besoli area of Chhattisgarh, who was walking along a railway track in the Kakapora area of Pulwama district when he was shot dead by militants.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has instructed the police chief in his state to coordinate with his counterpart in J&K and announced ~4 lakh as financial assistance for Sagar’s family.

The restrictions in the Valley were put in place after authorities cited the possibility of violence in the wake of the August 5 decision. Last week, the J&K administration took out newspaper advertisements asking people not to be afraid of militant threats and resume their businesses even as heavy deployment of security forces continued.

Activists, locals and some foreign leaders have criticised the restrictions in the Valley and said that they amount to curbing of fundamental rights.

“We are at the crossroads today. Do we permit the age-old tactic of threats and coercion to influence us? Will threat and misinformation prevail or will we take informed decisions on what is best for us?” the ad said.

Meanwhile, three militants – all in their early 20s — were gunned down in an encounter with the police in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday. The encounter broke out at Pazalpora area late on Tuesday night after district police received specific intelligence over the presence of militants in the area

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