- The gol-gappa hawker from Bihar was shot at point-blank range in Srinagar
- The other victim, a carpenter from UP, was shot dead in Pulwama
- With this, civilians killings in J&K in past two weeks has increased to 9
A gol-gappa hawker from Bihar and a carpenter from Uttar Pradesh were shot dead by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, in the ninth such killings of civilians in the past two weeks. The hawker, Arbind Kumar Sah, was shot at point-blank range in Srinagar. The carpenter from UP, Sagir Ahmad, was shot dead by terrorists in Pulwama, the police said.
"Terrorists fired at two non-local labourers in Srinagar and Pulwama. Arbind Kumar Sah from Banka in Bihar died in Srinagar and Sagir Ahmad from Uttar Pradesh is critically injured in Pulwama. Areas have been sealed and searches are on," the Union Territory's police said in a tweet earlier. About an hour later, the police said Mr Ahmad died of his injuries.
#NonLocal labourer Shri Sagir Ahmad of Saharanpur, UP who was #critically injured in a #terror attack in Pulwama, also #succumbed to his injuries. Search operations are in progress. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolicehttps://t.co/5q5TUQbRnl— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) October 16, 2021
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund for the family of Arbind Kumar Sah, news agency ANI reported.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has condemned the killings.
A spate of targeted civilian killings in Kashmir had led to exodus of several Kashmiri Pandits living in transit camps over a week ago. Dozens of families - many government employees who returned to the valley after being given jobs under the Prime Minister's special employment scheme for Kashmiri migrants - have quietly left accommodations.
"Strongly condemn the killing of street vendor Arbind Kumar in a terror attack in Srinagar today. This is yet another case of a civilian being targeted like this. All Arbind Kumar did was come to Srinagar in search of earning opportunities and it's reprehensible that he was murdered," former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference leader Sajad Lone tweeted, "This is pure terror. Yet again a non-local vendor shot and killed in Idgah. What a shame. How cowardly can it get."
Five of the nine victims in the past two weeks were not Muslims, a clear indication that Hindus and outsiders are the main target of the attacks.
The police had launched a massive crackdown and detained some 900 people across Jammu and Kashmir for their suspected links with separatists.
The police have also intensified anti-terrorist operations. According to the police, 13 have been killed in the past one week. "13 terrorists have been killed in nine encounters after civilian killings. We have killed three out of five terrorists in Srinagar in less than 24 hours," the Inspector General of Police said.
The targeted killings have sparked massive outrage and the police are under pressure to prevent these attacks.