The Kashmir Valley saw another spate of killings Tuesday evening, with three civilians — a popular chemist, a street food vendor, and a cab driver — being gunned down in separate incidents in a span of less than two hours.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police labelled the killings as “terrorist attacks”, adding that search parties have been formed to catch the culprits.
“Terrorists fired upon the owner of the medical shop, then a non-local in Lal Bazar and then a cab driver in Shahgund area. We have cordoned off the areas and have formed search parties to catch the terrorists,” a senior police officer told ThePrint on condition of anonymity.
In the first incident reported around 7 pm, Makhan Lal Bindroo (70), owner of Bindroo Medicate pharmacy in Srinagar’s Iqbal Park, was shot at from point-blank range inside his pharmacy. He was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed during treatment.
Bindroo, a Kashmiri Pandit, had remained in Kashmir and run his pharmacy even at the peak of militancy in the 1990s, while most of his relatives escaped from the Valley.
According to the police, he would keep his shop open even on days of militant attacks, when the entire market would be shut. Moreover, he never shut his shop even during strike calls by separatists.
Soon after the news of his death arrived, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah condemned the attack in the “strongest possible terms”.
“What terrible news! He was a very kind man. I’ve been told he never left during the height of militancy and remained with his shop open. I condemn this killing in the strongest possible terms & convey my heartfelt condolences to his family. God bless his soul,” tweeted Abdullah.
Another ex-CM and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the attack.
“Condemn the killing of Shri M L Bindroo who chose to stay back in Kashmir even during peak insurgency. Such acts of violence have no place in our society. May his family find the strength to deal with this loss,” she tweeted.
Street vendor, cab driver killed within an hour
In the second incident reported at around 7.30 pm, terrorists struck at Lal Bazar in downtown Srinagar and killed a street food vendor. He was identified as Virender Paswan, a resident of Bhagalpur in Bihar. According to the police, he was staying in Srinagar’s Zadibal area.
Within half an hour, another civilian, Mohammad Shafi, a cab driver and the president of a taxi stand, was shot dead in Bandipora.
On Saturday, terrorists had killed Majid Ahmad Gojri, a resident of Chattabal in Karan Nagar, and Mohammad Shafi Dar in Batamaloo for their alleged links with the security forces.
The Resistance Front (TRF), a frontal organisation of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, had claimed responsibility for the first two killings.
While no terror outfit has taken responsibility for Tuesday’s attacks so far, the police suspect the involvement of TRF in the latest killings too.