Srinagar: Militants shot dead three civilians including owner of famous Srinagar-based pharmacy Bindroo Medicate, in three separate incidents in Srinagar and Bandipora on Tuesday evening.
Owner of Bindroo Medicate, Makhan Lal Bindroo, was shot at his pharmacy near Iqbal Park here; street hawker identified as Virender Paswan of Bhagalpur, Bihar, was killed at Lal Bazar area in Srinagar, and Muhammad Shafi Lone, Sumo Stand President, Naidkhai was slain at Shahgund, Bandipora.
Police said, Bindroo, 68, was shot dead by the militants here with a pistol from point-blank range when he was dispensing medicines. Bindroo was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.
"Terrorists fired upon Owner of Bindroo Medicate namely Shri Makhan Lal Bindroo near Iqbal Park Srinagar. He was shifted to hospital where he #succumbed to his injuries. Area cordoned off & search to nab the terrorists is going on (sic)," Kashmir Zone Police Tweeted Tuesday evening.
The incident created panic in the entire area and people left for safer places. A major search operation was underway in the area when this report was filed.
“At about 1925 hrs, Srinagar Police received information about terror crime incident near Iqbal Park Sherghari area of Srinagar. Officers attending the terror crime spot learnt that the owner of Bindroo Medicate namely Makhan Lal Bindroo was shot at by the terrorists near his shop at Iqbal Park. He received grievous gunshot injuries in this terror incident and was immediately evacuated to nearby hospital, however he succumbed to his injuries,” police said in a statement issued here.
“Meanwhile, at about 2015 hours Srinagar Police received information about another terror crime incident near Madina Chowk Lalbazar area of Srinagar, where terrorists shot dead a non-local (street hawker) identified as Virender Paswan resident of Bhagalpur Bihar at present Alamgari Bazar Zadibal,” police said.
Police said that Paswan was selling a street food item in the area.
“#Terrorists killed one non-local near Madina Chowk Lalbazar #Srinagar. The deceased person has been identified as Virender Paswan resident of Bhagalpur Bihar, a street hawker, presently residing at Alamgari Bazar Zadibal. #Search in the area is in progress. @JmuKmrPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police Tweeted Tuesday evening.
Barely an hour after these killings in Srinagar, militants shot dead a civilian in Bandipora district Tuesday evening. The slain was identified as Muhammad Shafi Lone, Sumo Stand President, Naidkhai. He was shot dead at Shahgund.
Police said that he too was fired from point blank range. “Another #terror incident reported in Shahgund area of #Bandipora where coward #terrorists shot dead a civilian. He has been identified as Mohd Shafi Lone resident of Naidkhai. Area #cordoned off & search to nab the terrorists is in progress. Further details shall follow,” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.
Police said the Lone was shifted to hospital, but succumbed on the way. “The village is under cordon and searches are underway,” police said. Senior police, army and paramilitary officers had arrived at the spot.
“The terror crime incident was reported in Shahgund area of Bandipora where terrorists shot dead another civilian identified as Mohd Shafi Lone resident of Naidkhai,” said the police statement. “Police have registered cases regarding these terror crime incidents. Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of these terror crimes. The respective areas have been cordoned and searches are going on,” the police statement added.
Meanwhile, political leaders cutting across party lines paid glowing tributes to Bindroo describing him as "friendly businessman who never left the Valley even during the 1990s". The leaders condemned Tuesday's civilian killings.
National Conference president and Member of Parliament from Srinagar Dr Farooq Abdullah condemned the three civilian killings. In a statement, Dr Farooq said: “I’m extremely heartbroken to hear about the dastardly killing of noted businessman ML Bindroo ji, Mohammad Shafi Lone of Naidkhai Bandipora and a non local Virender Paswan. The heart wrenching mindless violence has saddened me. Such barbarism should be denounced downrightly at all levels. There is no humanity found in those who have orchestrated the blood bath. Yet another childhood has been lost. Yet another family has to live in pain for perpetuity. There is no humanity to be found within those who perpetrate such heinous acts of inhuman, outrageous, and thunderous violence.”
Dr Farooq said: “The targeted attacks that took place within a few hours have devoured three precious lives. No sympathies can assuage the families who have lost their loved ones and no one could even remotely empathize with the calamity that has befallen the victim’s families. I pray for strength to them at this difficult time. I share in their grief and sorrow.”
Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary organisation Ashok Koul strongly condemned the killing of Makhan Lal Bindroo. “May the soul of the departed rest in peace and may his family find strength at this difficult time,” Koul said.
Apni Party president Syed Altaf Bukhari termed the civilian killings as highly reprehensible. “There are no words to condemn these killings. Our heads hang in shame. Mr. Bindroo never left his homeland even in the worst of turmoil and had continued to make the life saving drugs available to humanity in this part of the world. Is this how he has been repaid for his public services?” Bukhari asked.
Bukhari said that killing of a non-local labourer in Lal Bazar and another civilian from Hajin is highly disgraceful as no words can ever compensate for the pain felt by their families.
“What logic can be given to the children who lost their breadwinner father in this senseless bloodshed? No words can deliver solace to them and nothing can bring back their loved ones,” Bukhari said.
He said the killing of the Sumo (Stand) President in cold blood at Shahgund Hajin reflects "the barbarism and inhuman mindset of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes". Bukhari urged the administration to ramp up the investigations and nab the culprits who seem to be adamant on disturbing the peaceful environment in Jammu and Kashmir.
Bukhari also demanded that security of the vulnerable persons need to be reviewed and efforts must be made to avoid such ominous incidents in the future.
In a statement, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee strongly condemned the killings terming the incidents as highly shameful and mindless on the part of killers and urged the LG administration especially police authorities to ascertain the identity of killers for exemplary punishment.
“The killing of ML Bindroo is tragic, disappointing and highly condemnable aiming to vitiate the atmosphere,” the JKPCC handout said.
The Party demanded stern punishment to killers. “Deepest condolences to bereaved families," the statement said. The JKPCC expressed solidarity with the Bindroo family, the statement said.
CPI(M) leader Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami in his condemnation note said M L Bindroo stayed here even during trying and difficult times and continued his service to the locals despite odds. “It was a household name in Kashmir. His unfortunate death has sent shock waves. No words to condemn such a heinous and shameful act. This is indeed an irreparable loss for the whole society. We share the grief and sorrow of his shattered family,” Tarigami said.
Chairman, People's Democratic Front, Hakeem Yaseen in a statement said that civilian killings by unknown gunmen in recent days have assumed alarming proportion. “It looks deliberate attempts are being made by the enemies of peace to create bitterness in the age old relations of brotherhood and communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir.” said Yaseen
“He (Bindroo) had been doing yeoman's service to the people even in the most difficult times of turmoil in 1990 and stayed put when a large number of Pandit community fled from the Kashmir in the atmosphere of fear and chaos,” Yaseen said and expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family of late Bindroo.
Jammu Muslim Front president Imran Qazi has strongly condemned Tuesday’s civilians killings in Kashmir. “Such senseless killings have no acceptance in a civilised society” said Qazi. He conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the the eternal peace to the departed.