Militants fired at two civilians, both members of the minority Kashmiri Pandit Community, in Chotipora village of the Shopian district, where one died and another was injured. Police believe it to be another case of targeted killings in Jammu & Kashmir last week.
#Terrorists fired upon civilians in an apple orchard in Chotipora area of #Shopian. One person died and one injured. Both belong to minority community. Injured person has been shifted to hospital. Area #cordoned off. Further details shall follow.@JmuKmrPolice
— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) August 16, 2022
According to the Kashmir police, the identified victims are brothers. They were sons of Arjun Nath Kumar, Sunil Kumar Nath, 45, and Pintu Kumar, 35.
On Tuesday, August 16th, the two men were fired upon in an apple orchard. They were trimming overgrown willow trees with three locals assisting when two masked assailants reportedly told the hired hands to leave the field and then shot the brothers.
After the assailants had fled, the brothers were immediately taken to a hospital, where Sunil succumbed to his injuries. His brother Pintu was in critical condition but survived and is being treated. Security forces were dispatched for a search operation. As of this writing, no arrests have been made.
Unequivocally condemn the cowardly & dastardly attack on Sunil Kumar & Pintu Kumar in which Sunil lost his life. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family. May he rest in peace, & may the family find enough strength to face the days ahead. Prayers for Pintu’s swift recovery.
— JKNC (@JKNC_) August 16, 2022
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and other political party leaders condemned the killing. He said in a Twitter post, "Pained beyond words on despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian. My thoughts are with the family of Sunil Kumar. Praying for speedy recovery of injured. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for barbaric act will not be spared."
Pained beyond words on despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian. My thoughts are with the family of Sunil Kumar. Praying for speedy recovery of injured. The attack deserves strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for barbaric act will not be spared.
— Manoj Sinha (@manojsinha_) August 16, 2022
Kashmir is a highly disputed state that lies on the borders of India and Pakistan. Both countries claim that the state belongs to them, causing almost an eight-decade-long clash since the separation in 1947. The Indian-controlled territories have seen a rise in violence with rebels fighting Indian rule.
India claims that the Pakistani government incites these acts of terrorism. Pakistan, however, denies the accusations.
Most Muslim population supports the rebellion; their goal is to form an independent country or unite with Pakistan. For most of the Kashmiris, it is a struggle for their freedom.
Kashmiri Hindus are living in fear due to the recent persecutions and killings, including the workers from other Indian states that settled there.
After a spate of targeted shootings of Hindus in May and June that took the lives of a bank manager, a brick worker, and a school teacher, many protests were staged. These organized street protests demanded that the government relocate the Hindu minorities to safer areas.
Hindus are not the only target of the militant forces. Many Muslims have also been victims of targeted killings in the last few months. A Srinagar-based TV actress, Amreen Bhat, was shot and killed in May. The militants shot the 35-year-old at close range. The 10-year-old nephew of that artist was also injured in the incident.