Kashmiri Pandit shot dead in Pulwama
Security forces lay a seige in the Achan area to trace the attackers | Photo: ANI

SRINAGAR — A bank security guard was killed by suspected militants in Achan area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday morning.

A senior police officer told the news agency KNS that militants fired upon a Kashmiri Pandit identified as Sanjay Pandith, a resident of Achan, this morning. “The injured was shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment where he succumbed to his injuries,” he said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) South Kashmir, Rayees Mohammad Bhat, said the police are acting swiftly to investigate the matter of the killing of the minority community member and promised to bring justice.

He said that the incident took place around 10:30 AM. “Terrorists fired upon a member of a minority community when he was going towards a market along with his wife. We are searching for the terrorists and we will neutralize them as early as possible,” he said.

The Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has strongly condemned the dastardly attack and said that the administration has given free hand to the security forces to deal with the militants.

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LG said the administration is standing strong with the bereaved family. “My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family,” he said and added that the administration has given a free hand to the security forces to deal with the militants. “We will continue to combat such acts of militancy firmly and decisively.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah expressed his condolences over the death of the Kashmiri Pandit in Pulwama. “I’m deeply pained. This bloodshed must end. Unfortunately, Kashmiri Pandits continue to be targeted. I will appeal to Muslims in the valley to protect Kashmiri Pandits. We have to face Allah one day. What will we say to Allah if we fail to protect our Pandit brethren,” said Abdullah.

Farooq Abdullah added, “I urge the government not to force Kashmiri Pandit government employees to return to the valley. Sadly, the situation is not conducive to the survival of the Pandits in the valley. Pandit employees must be adjusted in Jammu and their salaries should be released.”

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People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti blamed the BJP-led Centre for failing to protect Kashmiri Pandits. The former chief minister also hit out at the perpetrators of the attack.

Talking to reporters here, she said, “A few days ago, right-wing terrorists killed two Muslims in Rajasthan. Today, you have killed a Hindu. What is the difference between you and them?”

Mufti accused the BJP government of endangering the lives of minorities in Kashmir while projecting a picture of normalcy in the valley.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on the victim’s village. “The gunman martyred our brother. Whosoever killed him, we condemn this brutal killing. This attack is not on individuals but on our brotherhood and attack on Ganga-Jamni Tehzeeb. The entire village condemned the killing of our brother,” locals of the area said.

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