Srinagar: Two non-local civilians were killed in back-to-back militant attacks in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday evening, police said.
The first shooting took place in the Eidgah area of Srinagar this evening where a non-local vendor, Arvind Kumar, a resident of Bihar, was shot dead by the militants.
Official sources said suspected militants fired at the non-local street hawker from a point-blank range.
“He was shifted to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead on arrival,” the sources added.
An hour later, another non-local from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur was critically wounded in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, police said.
They said the non-local, identified as Sagir Ahmad, was fired upon at a shop in Litter area of Pulwama.
He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed during the treatment, according to the police.
This month nine civilians have been killed in targeted killings. The killings took place at a time when security forces have stepped operations across the valley.
Earlier in the day, a senior Police officer said post recent civilian killings, so far 13 militants have been eliminated in nine different operations in Kashmir.
The fresh killing of non locals has sparked condemnation from mainstream parties.
Former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned today’s attack.
“..Such unfortunate incidents only reinforce the immediate need to reach out to the people of J&K by initiating a constructive dialogue,” tweeted Mufti. “An innocent civilian on his way home to his wife & kids, a non-local street vendor eking out a living or troops in Poonch. None of these people deserved to die. One wonders what will it take for GOI to realise that its policies have been a monumental failure in J&K & at what cost?”
Another former chief minister Omar Abdullah termed it another targeted killing.
“…This is yet another case of a civilian being targeted like this. All Arvind Kumar did was come to Srinagar in search of earning opportunities & it’s reprehensible that he was murdered,” Abdullah said in a tweet.
Peoples Conference president Sajad Lone termed it a pure terror.
“This is pure terror. Yet again a non local vendor shot and killed in Idgah. What a shame. How cowardly can it get.” Lone said in a tweet.
BJP J&K spokesman Altaf Thakur today strongly condemned the killings.
“The killings of yet two non locals poor vendor is highly condemnable and shocking,” he said, while urging police to nab the killers and punish them sternly.