SRINAGAR: Last rites of Sanjay Sharma, an ATM bank guard, who was shot dead by militants on Sunday, were performed on Monday in his native place. Hundreds of villagers attended the funeral and stood with the grief-stricken family.
Sanjay Sharma’s family was the only Pandit family living in the otherwise Muslim-majority Achan village as they had refused to leave their native village in the 1990s. Of the four brothers, only one had migrated and is living in Udhampur. His parents also stayed put and passed away in the same village.
The Jammu and Kashmir police are suspecting the role of The Resistance Front (TRF), a shadow militant outfit of the Lashkar-e-Taiba ( LET) in the killing of Sanjay Sharma.
Quoting Additional Director General (ADGP) Vijay Kumar, The Hindu reported that LeT’s TRF is behind the killing and police have stepped up the search for three local and two foreign militants active in the region.
To denounce the killing and to express condolence and solidarity with the family silent candlelight protests were held at many places in the valley. One such protest was reported from Pulwama’s main Chowk.
“In a fight between Muslim Kashmir and Hindu India, religious minorities living in Kashmir are becoming a scapegoat,” KPSS, a Srinagar-based Pandit group said. It called for initiating a “brutal operation” against the killers.
BJP also held protests at several places in Kashmir and burnt an effigy of Pakistan, holding the neighbouring country responsible for the killing. The main protest was held in the Jawahar Nagar area of the city where dozens of party workers protested against the killing. Protesting party workers appealed to the LG administration to ensure the security of minorities and take steps to prevent such incidents in future.