In the fourth such attack in south Kashmir over the last three weeks, suspected militants shot dead a trucker Monday evening after he had parked his apple-laden vehicle on a road in Anantnag district. In a separate incident, at least 19 civilians were injured after militants hurled a grenade in Sopore town in north Kashmir Monday afternoon.
Security officials said the suspected militants shot the trucker, identified as Narayan Dutta, near Kanelwan village on the Bijbehara-Pahalgam road. Dutta was critically injured and rushed to the Sub District Hospital in Bijbehara, where he was declared brought dead.
Unlike the previous victims, who were not J&K residents, Dutta hails from the Katra region of Jammu. “Terrorists fired on a civilian in Bijbehara area of Anantnag. Information is preliminary in nature. Further details shall follow,” J&K Police tweeted Monday night.
Five persons, including three truckers, a fruit trader and a labourer, had earlier been killed in similar attacks this month in south Kashmir.
On October 7, suspected militants shot dead Rajasthan resident Sharief Khan, a truck driver, in Sindhu Shirmaal village of Shopian. On October 16, suspected militants shot dead a labourer from Chhattisgarh in Pulwama. On the same day, militants fired on two small-time fruit traders from Punjab in Shopian, killing one and critically injuring another.
On October 24, suspected militants fired at truckers in Trenz village of south Kashmir killing two and injuring one.
The grenade attack, meanwhile, was the second such incident in Kashmir since Saturday evening. Health officials said six of the 19 injured had to be moved to Srinagar for specialised treatment.
Sopore SSP Javid Iqbal said the area was cordoned off after the attack and a manhunt launched. “The area where the grenade was thrown is a market area,” he said.
Dr Asif Khanday, Block Medical Officer (BMO), Sopore, told The Indian Express that 19 injured people were brought to the hospital. “We have referred six people to Srinagar for specialised treatment. All injured had splinter injuries,” he said. Of the six moved to Srinagar, four were women.
Residents said they heard a loud bang and there was panic in the area. “People started running. There were some injured on the ground,” said Riyaz Ahmad, a local resident.
On Saturday evening, militants hurled a grenade on a CRPF deployment in Srinagar’s Karan Nagar area, leaving six personnel injured.