A Kashmiri Pandit was on Saturday shot dead by terrorists in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The deceased man has been identified as Puran Krishan. He was attacked near his residence in the Chowdhary Gund area of Shopia, according to officials.
Officials added that doctors declared Krishan brought dead after he was shifted to Shopian hospital.
Jammu and Kashmir Police said Krishan was shot when he was on way to an orchard. It added that the area has been cordoned off and search is on.
#Terrorists fired upon a #civilian (minority) Shri Puran Krishan Bhat while he was on way to orchard in Chowdari Gund #Shopian. He was immidiately shifted to hospital for treatment where he #succumbed. Area cordoned off. Search in progress.@JmuKmrPolice— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) October 15, 2022
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Sujit Kumar said the Kashmir Freedom Fighter (KFF) group has claimed responsibility for the attack. KFF is an off-shoot of terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP).
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha expressed "heartfelt condolences" over the killing.
"Attack on Puran Krishan Bhat by terrorists in Shopian is a dastardly act of cowardice. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family. I assure the people that the perpetrators and those aiding and abetting terrorists will be severely punished," said Krishan on Twitter.
DIG Kumar said the initial investigation has revealed that one militant fired upon Bhat.
He said, "There was security, our guard, for this cluster. We are looking at the reason (for the lapse). He had gone out on a scooter and just returned to his home."
He added in case of any lapse, action will be taken against the security guards and the in-charge officials in the area. He further said that investigation is underway and more details will be made public once things become clear.
This is the latest incident of killing of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, who are a religious minority in the Union territory. Following multiple killings through the year, Kashmiri Pandits in the UT have held large protests and have threatened to quit their jobs en masse. They have demanded transfers to safer places outside Kashmir Valley.
Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave Kashmir Valley in late 1980s-90s because of their targeted killings by terrorists and organised violence against them.
(With PTI inputs)