Bank Guard’s Killing Widely Condemned


SRINAGAR: Sanjay Sharma, 40, a bank security guard who was killed in a militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district was on his way to a local market, police said.

The wife and daughter of Sanjay Sharma mourn in their ancestral Achan village in Pulwama. A bank security guard, Sanjay had not migrated and lived in the village for all these years till assailants shot him dead on February 26, 2023. KL Image

Sanjay Sharma was shot in the chest at point-blank range in the Achan area of Pulwama on Sunday morning. He was quickly taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

One of the four brothers, three of them were living in Achan and the fourth had migrated and is living in Udhampur, reports from the village. Most of their family including their parents had not migrated and Sanjay’s parents passed away at their ancestral home. He is survived by his wife and two children.

The killing was widely condemned and the condemnations came from all sections of society. Cutting across the party lines, political parties unequivocally condemned the killing.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, strongly condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit in Pulwama saying the administration has given a free hand to security forces to deal with the killers. He said the administration is standing strong with the bereaved family.

“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. The administration has given a free hand to the security forces to deal with the terrorists and we will continue to combat such acts of terrorism firmly and decisively,” he said.

A few hours after the murder, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah took to his twitter and wrote that he was deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Sanjay Pandith.

“Deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Sanjay Pandith of Achan in Pulwama district of South Kashmir. Sanjay was working as a bank security guard and was killed in a militant attack earlier today. I unequivocally condemn this attack and send my condolences to his loved ones,” tweeted Omar.

In a statement Dr. Farooq said, “I am deeply saddened to know about the barbaric killing of Sanjay ji. The bereaved family has my deepest sympathies and unwavering support,” adding, “Words of condemnation and condolence ring hollow as do the assurances of the government on safeguarding the lives of people. This killing yet again raises the troubling question on security apparatus, law and order situation in the Valley.”

Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti lashed out at BJP for its “failure to protect minorities” in J&K and accused BJP of using these types of incidents to defame Muslims in the country.

“It is the government’s failure. The BJP government has failed to ensure safety of the minorities here. They (BJP) use minorities to show normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir. They use these incidents to defame Muslims across the country,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief told reporters.

Blaming the BJP-led Centre for failing to protect Kashmiri Pandits, she said, “A few days ago, right-wing terrorists killed two Muslims in Rajasthan. Today, you have killed a Hindu. What is the difference between you and them?”

Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit, saying it was a matter of grave concern.

“Any killing, especially a targeted killing, is a matter of grave concern and condemnable. We condemn it,” Azad told reporters.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said every targeted killing is condemnable, be that of a Kashmiri Pandit or a Muslim or a Sikh and whether the victim is from Jammu or Kashmir.

However, he said the most unfortunate part is that while many people were arrested in connection with such incidents over the last 30 years, “not one killer has been arrested for these targeted killings in the last two years.”

“I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear that militants have attacked and killed an innocent civilian from the minority community in Pulwama. The victim Sanjay Sharma was on his way to a local market in Pulwama when he was shot. I wonder what the killers want to achieve by shedding the blood of innocent civilians. Such acts of terror should be condemned in strongest possible terms by one and all,” formal minister Prof Saifuddin Soz said in a statement. “The perpetrators of this brutal crime must be nabbed and brought to justice.” He added: “My heart goes out to the victim’s family members, who have met with an inconsolable and irreparable loss. May Almighty give them strength to bear the pain of this tragedy and rest the departed soul in eternal peace.”

NC’s chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq called the killing an unfortunate incident.

“ As a majority community, we have to ensure the protection of the minorities as the government has failed to do so,” he said.


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