J&K: 2 non-locals killed by terrorists; 9th killing this month
A street vendor from Bihar and a laborer from Uttar Pradesh were shot dead by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. While Bihar's Arvind Kumar, a gol-gappa hawker, was killed in Srinagar, UP's Sagir Ahmad was shot dead in Pulwama. With these latest killings, nine civilians have been killed by terrorists in J&K in the past few weeks. Here are more details.
UP's Sagir Ahmed was shot by the terrorists in Pulwama's Litter area, where he worked as a carpenter. Following the attack, he was critically injured and taken to a local hospital. However, he succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. A resident of UP's Saharanpur, Ahmad was his family's sole breadwinner and had migrated to Kashmir about one-and-a-half years ago, NDTV reported.
Ahmad is survived by a family of five. His daughter told NDTV, "We want justice. We want compensation. He was the sole breadwinner for the family. I have a brother and three sisters to look after."
Meanwhile, UP government officials have visited the family on Saturday and assured them all help. "He is survived by a son and four daughters, one of whom is unmarried. Their financial condition is not good. We will ensure they get adequate compensation from the government," Saharanpur's Additional District Magistrate Archana Dwivedi said. "We are also trying to retrieve the dead body from Kashmir."
Separately, Arvind Kumar (36) was shot point-blank in Srinagar's Eidgah at around 6:40 pm Saturday. He was rushed to the Government Medical College Srinagar, but he was reportedly declared brought dead. Kumar was shot at the same locality where another civilian was killed by terrorists earlier this month. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has announced a financial compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to Kumar's family.
Condemning the killings, National Conference's leader Omar Abdullah said, "All Arvind Kumar did was come to Srinagar in search of earning opportunities and it's reprehensible that he was murdered." "An innocent civilian on his way home, a non-local street vendor eking out a living, or troops in Poonch. None of these people deserved to die," People's Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said.
Cornering the central government over the recent spate of civilian killings, Mufti asked, "One wonders what will it take for the Government of India to realize that its policies have been a monumental failure in J&K and at what cost."
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the killings and assured that the "perpetrators" will be punished "soon." "We have intensified our efforts to crush terrorists and their ecosystem. They will have to pay a very heavy price for killing innocent civilians. I urge people to speak in one voice and join hands in the fight against terror," Sinha said in a statement.
With a sudden rise in terror attacks on civilians, the security establishment has also intensified its anti-terrorism operations in the last few days. According to police, they have killed 13 terrorists in nine encounters in the past week. In a massive crackdown against terrorist sympathizers, the police have also detained about 900 people across the Union Territory for their alleged links with terrorists.