Civilian’s killing: Candle-Light marches held in Anantnag, Pulwama
Protestors denounce killing of Deepu Sharma
Srinagar: Candle-light marches were held in twin south Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Pulwama, to denounce the killing of an Udhampur resident in a terror attack yesterday in Anantnag.
Reports said that a sizable number of civil society members gathered at prominent locations in Anantnag and Pulwama carrying banners and candles as a mark of protest vis-à-vis the killing of Deepu Sharma on Monday evening.
The local citizen demanded that the assailants be dealt with an iron fist for this unforgivable crime against a particular community and humanity at large.
The marches in both the districts continued for some time and the protestors demanded an end to the killings.
Meanwhile, scores of people took to the streets in Udhampur district, protesting the targeted killing of a man by Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists.
Led by Khayal Sunhal panchayat member Rajesh Kumar, the protesters assembled at Batal Chowk, blocking the Dhar Road and raised anti-Pakistan slogans.
“A wave of sorrow spread across Majalta when news of his killing spread in the area. Entire family was dependent on him. The terrorist came on a motorcycle and fired on him as he was a Hindu boy,” Kumar told reporters.
Kumar also urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to ensure the sustenance of the victim’s family, consisting of a blind brother and aged parents. He was the sole breadwinner of the family, Kumar said.
On Monday, the man was shot dead when he had gone to a market for purchasing milk in Anantnag.
The worker, identified as Deepu Kumar (27) from Udhampur district of Jammu region, was working in a circus that was camping at Janglaat Mandi area. Police said the circus camp had security protection.
According to police, the victim had gone to a nearby market to purchase milk when two motorcycle-borne youths fired three bullets at him from a close range at 8.30 pm.
The worker was taken to a hospital where he was declared brought dead, they said.
A little known outfit, Kashmir Freedom Fighter, believed to be a shadow outfit of banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for the killing.
Police said a case has been registered and they have intensified the search for the killers.
Later Deepu Kumar was cremated near his native village here with Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina terming the killing as unfortunate that has shamed humanity.
His body was on Tuesday moved to his remote Thial village in Udhampur district where it was received by villagers amid anti-Pakistan sloganeering.
The body was later taken to a nearby cremation ground where the last last rites were performed. The pyre was lit by Kumar’s nephew in accordance with family tradition and rituals.
“This is a very unfortunate incident which shames humanity. His father is on the death-bed and his elder brother is blind. He was the only bread earner for the family,” Raina, who was among several BJP workers who joined the last rites of the deceased, told PTI.
He said the perpetrators of the gruesome crime have done a great injustice to the poor family.
“What was his crime for which he was brutally killed? An innocent blood was shed and those who have done this have committed a great sin,” Raina said, adding “the culprits cannot escape the law here and the creator too will not forgive them”.
The BJP leader said he spoke to the Lt Governor and sought adequate compensation for the poor family. “I am hopeful that the government will come out with a proper rehabilitation plan for them”.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of Kumar.
Hailing from remote Thial village of Majalta, about 60 kms from the Udhampur district headquarters, Kumar was a sole breadwinner in a joint family comprising his pregnant wife, ailing father besides blind brother, his wife and two children who are putting up together in a single-storey mud-house on a slope in the village.
Reacting to the killing, the Jammu chapter of J-K High Court Bar Association termed it as “dastardly act” and voiced concern about the game-plan of terrorists and their masters across the border in selectively targeting the peace-loving civilians.
Chairing a condolence meeting inside the court complex in Jammu, Bar president Vikram Sharma appreciated the offensive mounted by security forces against the perpetrators of crime to bring them to book.
“We hope such incidents are not allowed to recur and that the terrorism shall soon be wiped out,” he said, urging the government to give a befitting response to those waging war against the country from within and outside. (with inputs from PTI/GNS)