Two labourers shot dead in Kashmir as militants step up attack on civilians

Militants shot dead two non-local labourers in Kashmir late on Sunday, according to reports. Details are awaited but the killings, if confirmed, would follow a spate of attacks on civilians in the past few days

Representational Image | Source: PTI

Militants shot dead two non-local labourers in Kashmir late on Sunday, according to reports. This follows a spate of attacks on civilians in the past few days.

The deceased were identified as Arbind Kumar Sah, a hawker, and Sagir Ahmad, a carpenter. Arbind was shot at point-blank range in Srinagar and Sagir was killed in Pulwama. The authorities suspected that the terrorists were targeting civilians and people from other states in a concerted effort to drive them out.

Kashmir’s deceptive calm was shattered in the first week of October as unidentified assailants gunned down at least five civilians – including a well-known chemist – in a span of 48 hours in the heart of the capital Srinagar.



Also read: Five killings in 48 hours rock Kashmir, shatter deceptive calm

Of the five, four were killed in various parts of the summer capital Srinagar. One was a street vendor from Bihar while the remaining four were locals.

Makhan Lal Bindroo, the owner of one of Srinagar’s best-known pharmacy, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday evening at his shop.

According to available details, the 68-year-old was shot point blank. The wounded Bindroo was immediately removed to a nearby hospital, but the doctors declared him brought dead.

About seven kilometres from Srinagar’s Iqbal Park where Bindroo was shot dead, a street vendor selling bhelpuri was also shot point blank at Madina Chowk in Hawal area. The police identified the slain as Virender Paswan.

Also read: Kashmir: The sting in the mountains

A significant number of migrant labourers from Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and other states live in rented accommodations in Hawal. Most of them work as painters, masons, carpenters, daily wagers, hawkers and vendors in various parts of Kashmir. Some also refer to Hawal as ‘Bihari Chowk’.

On the same evening, October 5, suspected militants also shot dead Mohammad Shafi Lone, reportedly president of a local taxi stand in Naidkhai, Shahgund area in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Before these three killings on October 5, two more civilians were shot dead by suspected militants on October 3. The slain belonged to Batamaloo and Chattabal areas in Srinagar.

The J&K police issues a fresh statement urging ‘misguided youths’ to lay down arms and join the mainstream. The Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir zone, appealed on Twitter to all such ‘youths’ to shun violence, reiterating that the police and society would welcome them with open arms.