Kashmiri Pandit's Killing Condemned By J&K Political Parties, Term It 'Senseless'

Jammu and Kashmir: The deceased Sanjay Sharma from Kashmiri Pandit community, worked as a bank security guard and hailed from Achan area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

Kashmiri Pandits stage demonstrations

A Hindu man was killed after militants fired upon him in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Sunday, officials said.

The deceased has been identified as Sanjay Sharma, 40-years-old Kashmiri Pandit, who was fired upon by militants in the district's Achan area.

Earlier, the man was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment after he was fired upon by militants they added.

The attack took place during early hours on Sunday, they said.

According to the reports, the deceased was working as a bank security guard.

Following the attack, whole area has been cordoned off by security forces to nab the attackers.

There has been spike in targeted killings by militants in Kashmir following abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the attacks, many Kashmiri Pandits fearing for their lives have already left Valley.

According to the official website of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (Migrant) Jam­mu, “Approximately, 60,000 families, majority of them Hindus, migrated from the Valley during the turmoil. Most of these families preferred to settle in Jammu and adjoining areas, whereas approximately 23,000 displaced families settled outside J&K.”

LG Manoj Sinha Condemns Kashmiri Pandit's Killing, Says Security Forces Given Free Hand To Deal With Terrorists

Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha strongly condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit by terrorists and said his administration has given a free hand to security forces to deal with terrorists.

Condemning the attack, the Lt Governor said the administration is standing strong with the bereaved family.

"My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. The administration has given a free hand to the security forces to deal with the terrorists and we will continue to combat such acts of terrorism firmly and decisively," the Lt Governor said in a statement here.

Political parties condemned the killing, terming it "senseless". 

"Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Sanjay Pandith of Achan in Pulwama district of South Kashmir. Sanjay was working as a bank security guard and was killed in a militant attack earlier today. I unequivocally condemn this attack and send my condolences to his loved ones," National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.

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

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.

NC's chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq condemned the killing, saying it was an unfortunate incident.

"As the majority community, we should ensure the protection of the minorities," he said, adding that the government has failed to do so.

Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, saying it was a matter of grave concern.

"Any killing, especially a targeted killing, is a matter of grave concern and condemnable. We condemn it," Azad told reporters here. 

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said every targeted killing is condemnable, be that of a Kashmiri Pandit or a Muslim or a Sikh and whether the victim is from Jammu or Kashmir.

However, he said the most unfortunate part is that while many people were arrested in connection with such incidents over the last 30 years, "not one killer has been arrested for these targeted killings in the last two years".

J&K Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma also condemned the killing of Sharma and said "the attack is a cause of concern and depicts the failure of the government to ensure protection of innocent civilians."

"Instead of making hollow claims about normalcy, the government should ensure protection of minorities and other innocent civilians. The Kashmiri pandit and Dogra employees are on protest in Jammu and the government is compelling them to return to their duties in the valley which is not possible in such an atmosphere," Sharma said.

Separately, J&K Congress spokesperson Jahanzaib Sirwal demanded exemplary punishment to the perpetrators of targeted killings.

"The killing of a Kashmiri Pandit exposes the claims of normalcy..Center should  take adequate measures to stop target killings and save the precious lives rather than befooling people by claiming return of normalcy in the valley.

"The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be identified and given exemplary punishment," Sirwal said.