Kashmir, India's crowning glory, has constantly been subjected to violence and bloodshed. For decades, rebel groups have been the force behind the continued fighting in Kashmir. The valley saw yet another bloodbath on Tuesday, and the vengeance screams out in all the three killings.
Less known resistance groups have claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Police has said that it has zeroed down upon some groups but refrained from naming any. Amongst several, The Resistance Front was the first to claim responsibility for the attack, accusing the three deceased of working for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
A Well-Known Hindu Pandit Shot
Makhan Lal Bindroo was one of the few Hindu Pandits who stood his ground when several of his relatives left the region 31 years after violence ensued against Hindus in the Valley. Back then, Bindroo had his chemist shop on the Hari Singh High Street in Srinagar. Militants hurled grenades a dozen times at the security post near Bindroo's shop, but he remained undeterred. He led an everyday life like any other Kashmiri, and running his shop safely terror-prone Kashmir region gave him more confidence. Later, he shifted to a better shop in Iqbal Park, where his wife also started assisting him during peak hours. His doctor son also set up his clinic above Bindroo's shop. Until Tuesday, when armed terrorists entered his shop and shot at him. Doctors said that he sustained four bullet wounds and died while en route for treatment.
The clear message from a Kashmiri Pandit's killing, who neither moved away with the rest of his community members, comes when the Indian government is trying to make progress in getting back the residents who left Kashmir in distress. The terrorists intended to send out a powerful message, and now it's is to see how the government strengthens the already shaken confidence amongst the public.
The second killing after Bindroo was that of Virender Paswan, a native of Bihar. The poor Bhelpuri vendor was shot point-blank in the Lal Bazar area. The intent behind the killing was not very hard to guess, to counter the design of the Centre to make Kashmir a safe space for all Indians alike. The Union Government had encouraged regular people to visit and find a home in the beautiful state of Kashmir.
Mohammad Shafi Lone, the head of a local taxi association, was the third unfortunate person on the target of militants. News18 reported that several rumours suggested that an encounter had taken place at Lone's home some years ago, and several terrorists were neutralized in that. Whether the source of the rumour is credible or not, the mere suspicion of him having assisted the security forces was a reason enough for him to be gunned down.
Home Minister's Upcoming Visit
Anguish, anger, fear and despair were the most common emotions on social media platforms. Parvez Ahmad Qadri, the Deputy Mayor of Srinagar, shared a video of Bindroo's daughter, Dr Shaa Bindroo, saying that they might have killed his father's body, but his spirit would never die. Omar Abdullah, the Vice President of Jammu and Kashmir National Congress, also condemned the three killings.
Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit the centrally administered Union Territory on October 23- 25 to take account of developmental schemes and meet several stakeholders. The visit comes at a critical point when resistance groups are opposing all progressive steps from the Centre. Nonetheless, there lies hope for a better, safer and more peaceful Kashmir.