In the Chowdhary Gund neighborhood of the south Kashmir district, Puran Krishan Bhat was attacked near his home. He was immediately rushed to Shopian Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
Information provided by the police
Puran Krishan Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, was shot dead on Saturday, in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is suspected to be another targeted killing. Sujit Kumar, deputy inspector general of police, alleged that the Kashmir Freedom Fighters (KFF) group, a terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to authorities, the area has been cordoned off, and a hunt has begun to find the culprits.
Who was Puran Krishan Bhat?
Bhat’s relative told that Mr. Bhat has two children who are still studying in school. A girl who is in class 7 and a younger boy who is in class 5. “He used to stay indoors most of the time and didn’t even leave home.
Further he added, that they were terrified by the incident.
According to the police, Bhat was attacked within close proximity of his home in the Chowdhary Gund region of the south Kashmir district. Doctors at Shopian hospital declared him dead soon after he was rushed there.
Updates from Shopian killing
According to the DIG, the preliminary investigation revealed that Bhat was shot by one terrorist. He stated that they are examining the cause for the lapse.
According to Shopian’s deputy commissioner Sachin Kumar Vaishya, Bhat’s remains will be transported to Jammu, where last rites would be conducted.
Political figures including the lieutenant governor (LG), Manoj Sinha, condemned the murder. “Terrorists’ attack on Puran Krishan Bhat in Shopian was an act of cowardice. My sincere sympathies to the family of the deceased. I reassure the people that those responsible and those who assist terrorists will face harsh punishment ” in a tweet, Sinha said.
Omar Abdullah, vice president of the National Conference, called the attack reprehensible. “I strongly condemn the attack that resulted in Pooran Krishan Bhat’s tragic death. My sincere condolences to his family. May Pooran Ji’s soul rest in peace ” in a tweet, Omar Abdullah said.
The LG administartion, according to the PDP, “kept turning a blind eye on the hardship of Kashmiri Pandits” despite their ongoing protests for relocating, since the last five months following Rahul Bhat’s murder in May.
Ashok Koul, general secretary of the BJP, offered his sympathies to the family and condemned the “barbaric” murder.
The protesters marched toward the main road and stopped at the highway as the news of the murder of the Kashmiri Pandit spread. They were raising their voices against the target killings by terrorists.
Previous targeted killings
Puran Krishan Bhat’s murder happened just a few months, after militants shot and killed another Kashmiri Pandit in an apple orchard in the Shopian district. The shooting also injured his sibling. The victim’s name was Sunil Kumar. In the attack on August 16, his brother Pintu Kumar was seriously injured.
The “Kashmir Freedom Fighters,” a branch of Al Badr, claimed responsibility for the August attack too, in a statement that said the Pandit brothers had been targeted for encouraging people to participate in the “Tiranga rallies” before Independence Day celebrations.
At the time, the government was preparing for further similar kinds of violence based on information provided by the nation’s premier intelligence-sharing organization, the “Multi-Agency Center.”
A senior officer in the Home Ministry then stated, “There are regular inputs which suggest that a significant amount of small ammunition has been smuggled from across the border, and it’s a clear indicator that such targeted killing and isolated cases of grenade throwing will increase in the coming days.”
Since October 2021, the number of targeted killings in Kashmir have increased. Migrant laborers and Kashmiri Pandits comprised up a large portion of the victims. Seven civilians were killed in just five days of October 2021, including two migrant Hindus, a Sikh, and a Kashmiri Pandit.
Kashmiri Pandits protesting against the government
Rahul Bhat, 36, a Kashmiri Pandit who received a government job as part of a package for the community which was forced to abandon the Valley during the rise of militancy in the 1990s. He was shot and killed by terrorists in Budgam’s tehsildar’s office, in May 2022.
As a result of the tragedy, the minority community protested in huge numbers. Kashmiri Pandits organized protests after more than 35 people were killed including locals since the beginning of 2022. The protesters sang anti-government slogans and asked whether the government had sent them back to the Valley to be slaughtered.