The assurance of the Narendra Modi government of providing security to Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir has rung hollow once again when suspected terrorists killed pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo, a Hindu, in Srinagar. According to news agency KNO, unknown terrorists opened fire at Bindroo, 68, when he was at his shop near Iqbal Park of Srinagar. At around 7 PM, some locals moved Bindroo, bleeding profusely, to SMHS hospital nearby, where he succumbed to the bullet injuries.
Bindroo was among the few Pandits who did not emigrate after militancy broke out in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1990s. He stayed here with his family and continued to run his drug store.
A joint team of security forces and police has cordoned off the area and a search operation is on to arrest the terrorists.
“Militants fired at the owner of Bindroo Medicate, namely Makhan Lal Bindroo, near Iqbal Park, Srinagar. He was shifted (sic) to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” Kashmir Zone Police said. The police said they had cordoned off the area and are on the lookout for the suspects.
At around 7:45 PM, unidentified terrorists arrived at the Lalbazar area of Srinagar and shot dead another Hindu. A police official said that the gunmen, suspected to be terrorists, shot at the vendor, who died on the spot. Police identified the victim as Virender Paswan, hailing from Bihar, who was living in a rented accommodation at Alamgari Bazar of the old city.
Addressing reporters today, Bindroo’s daughter challenged the terrorists to confront her in a debate.
Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed shock over the incidents and condemned these attacks. “Deeply anguished to hear about the terror attack on Shri Makhan Lal Bindroo, owner of Bindroo Medicate. I strongly condemn this cowardly act. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family. Perpetrators of this heinous act will be brought to justice very soon,” the office of the Lieutenant Governor tweeted.
Who was Makhanlal Bindroo? Why was he attacked?
Makhanlal Bindroo was a known pharmacist based in Srinagar. He was a Kashmiri Pandit, the community that Muslims cleansed from the valley in the early 1990s. The union government, aided by the governor’s administration, is trying to rehabilitate them in the valley, although there are very few takers of the state’s appeal in the community.
India claims terrorism has been eliminated from Kashmir after the virtual abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35.
Repeated attacks on civilians
Barely two days after the killing of two civilians in Srinagar, unknown terrorists killed Bindroo and a non-native of the place, also a Hindu, in two separate attacks in Srinagar and the northern district of Bandipora where a Sumo driver was killed previously.
Today’s murder is the third since 2 October when unknown gunmen had killed a civilian Abdul Majid Guroo, a resident of Chattabal, and another civilian Muhammad Shafi Dar, a resident of Batamaloo in Srinagar.
While police were condoning off the Iqbal Park and Alamgari Bazar areas of the city, terrorists shot dead another civilian at Shahgund, Hajin area of the northern district of Bandipora at around 8 PM.
Sajad Lone of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference termed the murder of Bindroo outrageous and unacceptable. “I knew the gentleman personally. He never left the valley. And terrorists made him pay for that. May he live in peace,” Lone tweeted.
The incidents precede Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah’s visit to the valley as part of the union government’s outreach programme. Sources in the security establishment said Islamic terrorists were trying desperately to make their presence felt to mark the visit of Amit Shah.