On a day when Jammu and Kashmir voted in the Block Development Council elections, militants killed two non-Kashmiri truck drivers, who had gone to ferry loads of apples, and injured another in Shopian district, news agency PTI reported.
“It’s an unfortunate incident. The truck drivers had ventured into interior areas without informing the security forces,” a senior official was quoted as saying by PTI.
One of the dead has been identified as Mohmmed Illiyas, a resident of Alwar in Rajasthan, while the injured has been identified as Jeevan from Hoshiarpur in Punjab. The identity of the other deceased is being ascertained.
This was the third such instance in the last 10 days. A truck driver from Rajasthan was killed in the Valley on October 14, while a migrant labourer from Chhattisgarh and a fruit loader from Punjab was shot in Pulwama and Shopian, respectively, two days later.
According to PTI, the militants stopped the three trucks bearing registration number of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab and started indiscriminate firing at the drivers who made an unsuccessful attempt to flee the area.
The J&K Police had asked transporters not to venture into interiors of the area. Director-General, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Dilbag Singh had told The Indian Express that traders in Shopian have been advised to use smaller vehicles for transportation of apples from interiors of the district and bring the produce to six pick-up points “secured and identified” on the main roads.
“We have increased security presence at these six points and urged transporters not to take trucks from outside (the state) into the interiors. We have also picked up at least 12 people from the OGW network (overground workers of militant outfits) in connection with these killings,” the DGP said.
With PTI inputs