Two militants, including a suspected Pakistan national, shot dead the driver of a Rajasthan truck and assaulted an orchard owner in South Kashmir’s Shopian on Monday, the police said.
The deceased has been identified as Sharief Khan, the police said, adding that the militants carried out the attack in desperation as fruit transportation has picked up in the Valley.
The incident came on a day post-paid cellular phone services were restored in Kashmir after a 72-day communication blackout following the August 5 abrogation of Article 370, which provided for Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
“Two terrorists targeted a Rajasthan registered truck and its driver who was shot dead by them and orchard owner beaten up at Shirmal, today. An operation has been launched in the area to trace the terrorists,” ANI quoted Jammu and Kashmir police sources as saying.
Earlier in the day, Governor Satya Pal Malik had justified the ban on mobile phone services saying, “We imposed restrictions because terrorists use it for mobilization and indoctrination.”
Monday’s attack came almost a week after two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists were killed and a civilian was injured in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
On Friday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had taken out newspaper advertisements asking people not to be afraid of militant threats and resume their businesses even as heavy deployment of security forces continued in Srinagar and other towns in Kashmir.
“We are at the crossroads today. Do we permit the age-old tactic of threats and coercion to influence us? Will threat and misinformation prevail or will we take informed decisions on what is best for us?” the ad said.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon had said that the situation in Kashmir would return to normal within four months.
The situation that “existed for the last 40 years, it won’t even take four months to be made normal,” he said, “We are committed to bringing normalcy back in the border state.”
Oct 14, 2019 22:20 IST