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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Yet again, Kashmir is rocked by killings at the onset of Ramzan

Once again, unidentified terrorists, widely believed to be the separatist guerrillas, have greeted the onset of the holy month of Ramzan with bloodshed in the Kashmir valley. In the four separate terror strikes, one head constable of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been killed while one CRPF jawan, four non-local workers and a resident Kashmiri Pandit have been injured in the first two days of the holy month of fasting.

According to authoritative sources, two suspected terrorists appeared at the pharmacy of one Bal Krishen aka Sonu at his residential village of Chotigam, near Harmain, in the South Kashmir district of Shopian at 7:30 pm on Monday. One of them, armed with a pistol, fired upon Sonu at point blank range. With three gunshot wounds on his body, he was quickly evacuated and rushed to District Hospital Shopian. On examination, doctors referred him to Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar. He was stable and responding to the treatment late on Monday night.

Most of the Kashmiri Pandit families from Chotigam and the once Pandit-dominated Harmain village have migrated to Jammu, Delhi and other places in the early 1990s. However, three families of the minority community have been continuously living at Chotigam without any Police or paramilitary protection.

Bal Krishen alias Sonu is the second Kashmiri Pandit chemist after Makhan Lal Bindru in Srinagar who has been attacked by terrorists in the last six months. Bindru was among over a dozen members of the minority community and non-local workers who were attacked and left dead or injured in Kashmir in October 2021.

After a pause, two non-local workers were attacked and left injured in Pulwama district in the third week of March 2022.

Armed insurgents have yet again stepped up violence with the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan across the valley. Driver and conductor of a poultry vehicle, both residents of Pathankot Punjab, were fired upon by terrorists at Pulwama’s Awdoora Nowpora village on the first day of Ramzan on Sunday. Two non-local workers, both residents of Bihar, were attacked and left injured at Lajoora in the same district, in South Kashmir, on Monday.

In the fourth incident of an armed attack in 24 hours, two suspected terrorists fired upon a CRPF naka at Maisuma in Lalchowk area of Srinagar on Monday. Officials and eyewitnesses said that the pillion rider opened indiscriminate fire from a short-size AK rifle. Both the terrorists made good their escape on the bike as the paramilitary personnel avoided to retaliate due to the movement of a large number of the civilians around the spot.

Two CRPF men sustained critical injuries. They were rushed to hospital. However, head constable Vishal Kumar succumbed to injuries. His colleague was critical but under treatment at Army’s 92 Base Hospital late on Monday night.

Maisuma is a densely-populated business hub and the residential locality of the JKLF chairman Yasin Malik where an incident of firing on Police or security forces took place after more than 16 years.

However, in the first 16 years of the armed insurgency, a large number of grenade attacks, two suicide attacks and several killings had occurred in the same neighbourhood. Station House Officer of Maisuma Police Station and two Intelligence Bureau officials were gunned down in the same locality in 1989 when Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference-Congress coalition government was still in place.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)

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