Slain Sunil Kumar Cremated Amid Protest Against Innocent Killings

SRINAGAR: Hundreds of villagers attended the funeral procession of the slain Kashmiri Pandit, Sunil Kumar, who was killed by militants in his apple orchard. Residents denounced the killing and shouted that “spilling the blood of innocents is unacceptable.”

People mourning the killing of Kashmiri pandit in Chotigam Shopian on Tuesday August 17,2022

Militants shot at two Kashmiri Pandit men when they were in their apple orchard at Chotipora, almost 9 km from Shopian, the police said. Sunil Kumar died on the spot and Pitambar Nath Pandit was injured. It was the latter who rushed to the village and broke the news of the attack, residents said.

Earlier, it was reported that the two were brothers, which was incorrect. Police later said Pitambar is the son of Arjun Nath Bhat while slain Sunil Kumar Bhat was the son of Sri Ji Bhat, both residents of Chotigam Shopian. Pitambar is reported to be stable.

The families had refused to leave their ancestral home even though most of the dozen-odd families migrated in the 1990s.

“I am pained beyond words on the despicable terror attack on civilians in Shopian,” Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha said after visiting the injured. “The attack deserves the strongest condemnation from everyone. Terrorists responsible for the barbaric act will not be spared.”

Later in the afternoon when the slain man’s body was handed over to the family, hundreds of locals joined his funeral and stayed put till the last rites were over. Qatal-e-Gaarth na manzoor (killing of innocent and destruction are unacceptable) and chants of unity reverberated in the air as villagers took out slain  Sunil Kumar Butt to the cremation ground. They also shouted slogans for Hindu Muslim Sikh Itehad. The family is being visited by the locals and the residents from neighbouring villages to offer condolences.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Vijay Kumar had told reporters that “a categorised terrorist of Al Badr, Adil Wani from Shopian’s Kutpora” was responsible for the attack and was accompanied by “an overground worker.”

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