INDIA. Mumbai: While Kashmiri Pandit Puran Krishan Bhat (43) was shot dead by terrorists in the Shopian district in Kashmir on Saturday, a terror outfit- “Kashmir Freedom Fighters(KFF),” claimed responsibility for the killing, Jammu and Kashmir Police said.
He was shot near his residence in the Chowdhary Gund area of the south Kashmir district. He was rushed to a Shorpian hospital, but doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Sujit Kumar told electronic media that the KFF (the proxy name of a militant outfit) had claimed responsibility for the attack. In the initial investigation, eyewitnesses said that only one person had targeted and was in front of him.
Nobody has spotted anyone else who might be hiding. The area has been cordoned off, and a hunt has been launched to arrest the terrorists, he added.
Lt Governor of J & K Manoj Sinha tweeted, “Attack on Puran Krishan Bhat by terrorists in Shopian is a cowardly act. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family. I assure the people that the perpetrators and those aiding and abetting terrorists will be severely punished”.
Puran Krishan Bhat, son of Tarak Nath Bhat, is survived by his wife Sweety and their two children -a girl who studies in class 7 and a younger boy who is in class 5.
In a similar incident, a revenue clerk Rahul Bhat (35), was shot dead at the Chadoora tehsil office in Budgam district on May 12. Rajni Bala, a 36-year-old Dalit teacher from Jammu’s Samba district, was shot dead outside her government school in Kulgam district on May 31.
Besides, another Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead by terrorists at an apple orchard in the Shopian district while his brother suffered injuries in firing on August 16.
At least six members of the minority community, including a Hindu school teacher, a Hindu Bank Manager, and a Govt Employee, were killed by the militants since 2020, and Bhat became the 7th victim.
Soon after the incident on Saturday, hundreds of protesting displaced Kashmiri Pandit employees, who are seeking their relocation from the valley, blocked the Jammu-Akhnoor road to protest the targeted killing of their community member, a local journalist Deepak Kaul said.
According to reports, the protestors alleged that the administration tried to pressure them to rejoin their duties by making biometric attendance mandatory and stopping their salaries.
The killing of Bhat has exposed the Government’s claim about improvement in the security situation in the valley, the protestors alleged.
In another development, the J & K Police and Indian Army, in a joint operation, seized IED devices weighing 16 kg from the Astango area of North Kashmir on Saturday, a Defence official here said.
In yet another development, the J & K administration dismissed five government employees from service on charges of indulging in anti-national activities, official sources said. Their names were given as: Ashfaq Ahmed Vani, Manager of the Baramulla Central Coop Bank. Tanvir Salim Dar, police constable, Sayyed Iftikar Andrabi, Irshad Ahmed Khan, Security Guard attached to the water conservation department at Baramulla and Abdul Momin Pir, working in the engineering department at Handwada Sub-Circle.
The action was taken based on the reports by the security agencies about their suspicious activities and movements.
In the meanwhile, the J & K police postponed the Run for Peace ‘Kashmir Marathon – 2022’ scheduled for Sunday. The marathon was scheduled to be held from Lake View Police Golf Course Boulevard Road S, Srinagar.
“The run is postponed till further orders due to Administrative reasons. The next date shall be published in due course of time,” a police statement said.