Kashmir Pandit shot dead by militants in J&K’s Shopian, killing fuels fresh wave of fear among minorities in valley 

File picture of Indian forces

Militants shot dead a civilian and injured another, both members of the minority Kashmiri Pandit community, in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday.

According to the police, terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of Shopian.

Police has confirmed that one person has died and one was injured. “Injured person has been shifted to hospital. The area has been cordoned off,” the police said.

Officials said the victims are brothers. They were identified as Sunil Kumar and Pintu Kumar, sons of Arjun Nath Kumar in Chotigam area.

“Sunil died on the spot,” officials said.

Militants have stepped up attacks in the Kashmir Valley over the past week. A policeman was killed in Nowhatta on Sunday and a migrant labourer in Bandipora last week.

Two grenade attacks took place in Budgam and Srinagar districts on Monday. One minority member was injured in the Budgam incident in Gopalpora area.

Meanwhile, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarash Samiti (KPSS), an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits who did not leave in the 1990s, has said the terrorists seem to be targeting all Pandits living in the Kashmir Valley.

“The KPSS requests all the Kashmiri Pandits to leave the Kashmir Valley. With another deadly attack on Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley, the terrorists have made it clear they are going to kill all the Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir Valley,” KPSS’ chairman Sanjay Tickoo said. He said it was ironic that local over ground workers work with the militants “to kill their neighbours”.

“Kashmir is a place where tourists are safe as no attacks were executed during the Amarnath Yatra but local non-Muslims, particularly Kashmiri Pandits are vulnerable,” Mr. Tickoo said.

Mr. Tickoo said the judiciary and the government have failed miserably to protect Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley.

“Kashmiri Pandits should leave Kashmir and not fall into the trap of sugar-coated statements from Kashmiri society. Kashmiri Pandits are left with only one option — to leave Kashmir or get killed by religious fanatic minds, who have support from the local population,” Mr. Tickoo said.

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