Kashmiri Pandit farmer shot dead, brother injured in Shopian village


LG, Omar, Mehbooba, Sajad condemn attack; brother of minority community member who survived militant attack recently accuses Div Com of ignoring repeated pleas about security cover; Pole terms allegations baseless


Shopian, Aug 16 : A farmer belonging to Kashmiri Pandit community was shot dead, while his brother was injured in Chotigam area of Shopian district on Tuesday, officials said here.

An official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that militants fired upon two brothers identified as Sunil Kumar and Pintu Kumar sons of Arjun Nath Kumar in Chotigam area when they were working in their orchard resulting in on spot death of Sunil, while Pintoo was injured

He said that Pintu has been shifted to hospital for treatments where his condition is said to be stable while the area has been cordoned off to nab the attackers.

This is the second such attack on a minority community member in the last 24 hours in the Kashmir Valley. On Monday late evening a minority community member was injured after militants hurled a grenade at Gopalpora village of Budgam district.

Both Sunil (47) and Pintu (50) were farmers by profession and were attacked by gunmen when they were busy in their work at their orchard, locals said.

They said that among several families, only three pandit families are living who didn’t leave the valley in the 90’s.

On April 4 this year, another pandit namely Sonu Kumar was shot at and injured when he was at his shop. However, Sonu survived and since then he has only visited his village today after the attack on their neighbours.

Anil Kumar, brother of Sonu on Tuesday alleged that after the attack on his brother, he went to several officers including Divisional commissioner to provide them security, however, divisional commissioner told him to “live in your village and die there and nothing lies in my hands and I can’t do anything for you.”

He said that if the divisional commissioner can’t do anything then who else can and since April 04 no steps were taken for “our safety and divisional commissioner is responsible for this killing.”

Divisional Commissioner PK Pole speaking on the occasion e refuted the allegations and said that “we have already deployed guards here and every possible step is being taken for the safety of minority communities.”

”We condemn this incident and there have been regular attacks on the people living in different districts of the valley, we had deployed guards here,” he said, adding that “we are trying our best to improve the situation here and an investigation has been started.”

A police spokesman in a statement to KNO said that at about 11:30 am, Shopian Police received information about a “terror crime incident” at Chotipora area of Shopian where terrorists had fired upon civilians. “Senior police officers along with reinforcement reached at the terror crime spot,” he said.

The spokesman said that preliminary investigation revealed that militants had fired upon two civilians in an apple orchard at Chotipora area of Shopian District. “In this terror crime incident, two civilians identified as Pertimber Nath Bhat son of Arjun Nath Bhat and Sunil Kumar Bhat son of Sri Ji Bhat, both residents of Chotigam Shopian belonging to minority community received critical gunshot injuries. Both the injured were immediately shifted to hospital where one of the injured persons, Sunil Kumar Bhat, succumbed to his injuries, however, the condition of the other injured person is stated to be stable,” he said. “Police have registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law. Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime. Area has been cordoned and search in the area is going on.”

Meanwhile LG Manoj Sinha and several political leaders Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Sajad Gani lone condemned the attack.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Tuesday said that he was pained beyond words over the killing of a member of a minority group and injuries to his brother in Shopian district of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Monday.

“Pained beyond words on despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian. My thoughts are with the family of Sunil Kumar. Praying for speedy recovery of injured. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for barbaric act will not be spared.” LG tweeted.

Condemnations poured in from political leaders of J&K as well.

“I condemn the militant attack in Shopian unequivocally in which Sunil Kumar was killed & Pinto Kumar injured. My condolences to the family,” Omar Abdullah, the former chief minister tweeted.

“Yet another dastardly attack by coward terrorists in Shopian. We strongly condemn this heinous act of violence. My condolences to the family.” Sajad Lone tweeted.

“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 J&K has become cannon fodder in Delhi’s quest for ‘manufactured normalcy’.” Mehbooba Mufti tweeted—(KNO)

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