In a resumption of targeted killings of Hindus by Muslim militants, suspected terrorists shot dead a Kashmiri Hindu (Pandit) and injured his brother in an apple orchard in the Chotipora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian today. Police identified the victim as Sunil Kumar and his injured brother as Pintu Kumar who was rushed to a hospital.
Following the attack, a joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Indian Army and paramilitary forces cordoned off the area to trace the terrorists behind the attack.
Customary condemnations and expressions of shock and outrage followed this episode of targeted killings too. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and several political leaders condemned the attack on the Kashmiri Pandits. "Pained beyond words on the despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian. My thoughts are with the family of Sunil Kumar. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured," his office tweeted, saying further that the attack deserved the "strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for barbaric act will not be spared".
The former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah called the killing of Kumar "sad news". "Terribly sad news from South Kashmir today. An accident and a terrorist attack have left a trail of death and suffering. I condemn the terrorist attack in Shopian unequivocally in which Sunil Kumar was killed and Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences to the family," Omar tweeted, referring to the bus accident in the Pahalgam area in which at least six Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel were killed.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the residents of Jammu and Kashmir have become "cannon fodder in Delhi’s question for manufactured normalcy”.
"Terribly sorry to hear about the targeted killing in Shopian. Condolences to the deceased’s family. GOI continues to behave like an ostrich with its head buried deep under the sand. Every resident of JandK has become cannon fodder in Delhi’s quest for ‘manufactured normalcy,” she tweeted.
"Yet another dastardly attack by coward terrorists in Shopian. We strongly condemn this heinous act of violence. My condolences to the family,” People’s Conference head Sajad Lone tweeted.
Last week, a migrant labourer from Bihar was shot dead in the Sumbal town of Bandipora district. A labourer — also from Bihar — was killed and two others injured in a grenade attack at Pulwama’s Gadoora on 4 August.
At least 25 people, including four non-Pandit Hindus, have lost their lives in targeted killings this year.