SHOPIAN — A Kashmiri Pandit was shot dead by militants in Choudary Gund area in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday.
An official told the news agency KNO that he was fired upon by militants when he was in the lawns of his residential house. He said that soon after, the injured, identified as Pooran Krishan Bhat son of Tarak Nath Bhat of Choudary Gund, was immediately shifted to a nearby hospital.
He, however, succumbed at the hospital, the official said, adding that the area has been cordoned off to nab the attackers. Pooran’s body was shifted to Jammu for the last rites.
Hundreds of locals, mostly Muslims, were visiting the area to pay condolences to the bereaved families.
Pooran, as per local Pandits, has left behind a wife and two minors namely Shanu Bhat, a Class 4th student and Shriya Bhat, a Class 6th student living in Jammu and on their wish, the body of the slain was taken to Jammu.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Central Kashmir, Sujit Kumar, who is also in charge of south Kashmir range said that initial investigation has suggested that one militant was behind the attack.
Talking to reporters, as per KNO, Kumar said that things are still being worked out as of now and in the initial investigation, it has come to the fore that one militant was involved in the act. He said that once things will be clear, more details will be shared accordingly, but for now, investigations are on.
“If any security lapse is found on part of the security guards and any official in charge of the area, action will be taken definitely,” Kumar said. He also said that the attack has been claimed by the Kashmir Freedom Fighter (KFF) group, the proxy name of a militant outfit.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Sachin Kumar Vaishya, while talking to the reporters, said that all assistance is being provided to the Pandit family by the government. He also said that the body of the deceased is being sent to Jammu, where the last rites will be done and the administration has made all the arrangements for the same.
Hurriyat Conference (M) condemns killing
Hurriyat Conference (M) expressed shock and grief over the killing of Kashmiri Pandit community member Pooran Krishan Bhat of Choudharygund, Shopian by gunmen.
In the statement to KNO, the Hurriyat denounced the killing and said that every single life lost in this manner is very painful, adding that it extends condolences to the bereaved family and expressed solidarity with them in this hour of great sorrow.
Bond of Ages: Family of slain Kashmiri Pandit leave keys with Muslim neighbour
In a rare example of communal harmony and trust, family members of Pooran Bhat killed in Shopian on Saturday left the keys of their house with their neighbour, a Muslim woman.
Pandits present at the spot told the news agency KNO that they have not left the Valley because of the love and support they received from local Muslims. “You can understand how close we are with Muslims here that Pooran’s family trusted a local Muslim lady neighbour than us by handing over keys of her house,” said an elderly Pandit.
As all family members of slain Pooran left for Jammu to take part in his last rites, his sister-in-law handed over the keys of all their belongings to local Muslim lady Fidousa.
Firdousa, a woman hailing from Srinagar and married at Shopian’s Choudarygund, told KNO that she belonged to a poor family and works at Pooran’s house. “Pooran was treating me as a sister and would encourage me to give education to my children. They trusted me by handing the keys and I will never break it,” she added.
Muslim neighbours of Pooran, while condemning the killing, described the slain as an honest man who despite suffering economic losses cleared their dues.