Brutal death in Kashmir, hunt for terrorists is on


A Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead allegedly by militants in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, officials said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Sujit Kumar said the Kashmir Freedom Fighter (KFF) group, the proxy name of a militant outfit, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Puran Krishan Bhat was attacked near his residence in the Chowdhary Gund area of the south Kashmir district. He was rushed to Shopian hospital where doctors declared him dead, they said.

Officials said the area has been cordoned off and a hunt has been launched to nab the assailants.
“Terrorists fired upon a civilian (minority) Puran Krishan Bhat while he was on his way to an orchard in Chowdari Gund, Shopian. He was immediately shifted to a hospital for treatment where he succumbed. Area cordoned off. Search in progress,” the Kashmir Zone Police wrote on Twitter.

DIG Sujit Kumar said the initial investigation has revealed that one militant fired upon Bhat.

“There was security, our guard, for this cluster. We are looking at the reason (for the lapse). He had gone out on a scooter and just returned to his home,” he added.

Kumar said in case of any lapse, action will be taken against the security guards and the in-charge officials in the area. Investigations are underway and more details will be made public once things become clear, the police officer said.

Deputy Commissioner of Shopian, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, said Bhat’s body will be taken to Jammu where the last rites will be performed. “All arrangements are being made. We are extending help to the family.”

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and political leaders condemned the killing.

“Attack on Puran Krishan Bhat by terrorists in Shopian is a dastardly act of cowardice. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. I assure the people that the perpetrators and those aiding and abetting terrorists will be severely punished,” Sinha tweeted.

The National Conference condemned the “brazen and cowardly attack” and expressed “heartfelt commiserations” with Bhat’s family.

The party’s vice president Omar Abdullah termed the attack reprehensible. “I unequivocally condemn this attack in which Pooran Krishan Bhat has lost his life. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family. May Pooran Ji’s soul rests in peace,” he said in a tweet.

The PDP said while the Kashmiri pandits have been protesting for the last five months demanding their relocation after Rahul Bhat was shot dead in May, the “LG administration in their hubris kept turning a blind eye to their plight”.

“Today yet another Kashmiri Pandit, Puran Krishan, was shot dead in Shopian. Thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family,” the party said.

CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami said the government must ensure foolproof security for the minorities in the Kashmir Valley. “Pained beyond words by the despicable attack which snuffed out the life of Puran Krishan Bhat. There does not seem any letup in the killing of innocent people. The government must ensure foolproof security to the minorities,” he tweeted.

BJP General Secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul also condemned the “barbaric” killing and offered his condolences to the family.

In a statement, he said that “these anti-national elements will never be successful. These things will not be tolerated anymore as these attacks are aimed to disturb the peace in the region.”

Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said, “Unequivocally condemn the attack on Pooran Krishan Bhat in Shopian. My heartfelt condolences to his family. This is a dastardly act of cowardice. May his soul rest in peace.”

The Peoples Conference said there can never be a justification for attacks like these.

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