Srinagar: Five non-local labourers were killed and another wounded in a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Kulgam district on Tuesday, the police said.
A report from Kulgam said that unidentified gunmen opened fire at a non-local brick kiln worker identified as Zahooruddin, a resident of West Bengal, in the district’s Kathrasoon village on Tuesday evening, leaving him critically injured. As his colleagues rushed to the spot to evacuate him to hospital, the gunmen hiding in a nearby alley again opened fire, killing five of them, the report said. All the slain men were residents of West Bengal.
However, the police sources said that the labourers were abducted by the gunmen from a brick kiln and subsequently shot at.
This was the latest in a series of such attacks on non-local labourers and truck drivers by suspected militants in south Kashmir since October 14. In earlier incidents, four truck drivers, an apple trader and a labourer were killed and a few others wounded in neighbouring Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts.
On October 28, a truck driver Narayan Dutt, a resident of Katra in J&K’s Reasi district, was shot dead by suspected militants in Kanilwan village of Bijbehara area of Anantnag.
On October 23, two more truck drivers were killed and a crew member was critically wounded in a similar attack Shopian’s Chittergam Kalan village.
On October 16, two apple buyers from Punjab’s Fazilka district were shot by suspected militants in Tranz area of Shopian. While one of them Charanjit Singh was brought dead at a government-run hospital in neighbouring Pulwama district, the condition of the other identified a Sanjiv Kumar who is admitted in a Srinagar hospital continues to be critical. The assailants had also torched the truck in which the apple boxes bought by the duo were being loaded.
On October 14 night, gunmen had shot dead a truck driver from Rajasthan identified as Sharief Khan in Shopian’s Sindhoo-Shirmal village. The gunmen had also torched his truck loaded with apples which were to be transported out of the Valley. The co-driver of the truck had escaped unhurt. Earlier during that day, a brick kiln worker 29-year-old Sethi Kumar Sagar from Chhattisgarh was shot dead by gunmen in Pulwama’s Nihama area.
J&K’s Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, has blamed these attacks on “Pakistan-sponsored terrorists”. He also said that Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) S.P. Pani has been asked to rush to Kulgam to take stock of the situation following the fresh attack.