A 65-year-old jeweller was shot dead by terrorists in a busy marketplace in Srinagar on Friday, January 1, according to the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
NDTV reported that the jeweller, Satpal Nischal, was killed because he had acquired a domicile certificate which had entitled him to own land and property in Jammu and Kashmir. Nischal had been living in Srinagar for over 50 years.
Police officials stated that unidentified gunmen fired on Satpal Nischal, the owner of Nischal Jewelers in Saraibala area of Srinagar at 6.30 pm, leaving him critically wounded. He was then rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to the bullet injuries.
A terrorist outfit, The Resistance Front, while claiming the responsibility for the killing, in a statement, said that the jeweller was part of a settler project. The group also said that 'anyone who obtains domicile will be treated as occupiers.' They further said that the people who received domicile certificates were 'RSS agents' and warned them of dire consequences.
"We know your names, we know where you live and we know what you do and we are coming for you," the statement said, reported The Indian Express.
The police have said that the case is being investigated and the threat perception to other domicile holders is also being analysed. A senior officer privy to the case shared that a few people were picked up and one of the attackers has been recorded in the CCTV camera as well.
"We are working on both aspects...business rivalry and the terrorist claim," Inspector General Vijay Kumar told the publication. "We will share the details soon."
The Nischal family is originally from Punjab's Gurdaspur but they have been living in Srinagar for over five decades. Many members of the family are in the business of gold jewellery.
On March 31, the Centre introduced new domicile laws that allowed residents of any state to buy immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. The administration began to issue certificates in June.
According to media reports, over 10 lakh domicile certificates have been issued in Kashmir valley, most of them to local residents but the government has not released a separate data on how many non-locals have acquired the domicile certificate in Kashmir.
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