SRINAGAR: The mysterious killings have again returned to haunt people of strife-torn Kashmir as four people have been shot dead by unknown gunmen in last four days in Valley.
A 35-year-old non-local painter was found in a pool of blood with his throat-slit inside his rented room at Arampora area of Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla district in the afternoon. The locals referred the painter identified as Haroon Rashid son of Talib Alam R/o Bihar to a nearby hospital, where from he was referred to Srinagar. Haroon later succumbed to injuries in the Srinagar hospital.
A police official said, they have registered a case and taken up investigation to identity the killers of the painter. Earlier, late last evening unknown gunmen shot dead a youth travelling in his car at Brari Nambal, Babdam area of Khanyar in downtown Srinagar.
The youth identified as Abdul Ahad Ganie R/o Kupwara was shot dead from point-blank range, police sources said. They said Ganie was pursing PhD from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and was staying at his in-laws houses in Srinagar. A police official said they have launched investigation into the killing of Ganie. "It will be premature to say anything at this point of time. We are trying to identify the killers," he said.
The two killings within a span of few hours has caused fear psychosis among the people in the city and elsewhere. They want police to track down the assailants and their motive behind the killings. The two killings took place three days after two youth including a separatist activist and militant affiliated with Zakir Musa-led Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH), Al Qaida Kashmir cell were shot dead by unknown gunmen.
The Hurriyat activist Hakim-ul-Rehman Sultani R/o Sopore was shot dead in his car outside his home at Reshipora Bomai in Sopore on Saturday last. Hakim had served detention in Kupwara jail on charges of stone pelting and was released two weeks back on Eid-ul-Azha. On the same day, militant of AGH Asif Nazir Dar was shot dead by unknown gunman in Naseembagh park in Hazratbal area in outskirts of Srinagar. Later, police recovered a pistol and its ammunition from his possession.
Police blamed inter militant rivalry for killing of Asif. Police also blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba militants for killing of separatist activist Hakim-ul-Rehman Sultani in Sopore on Saturday last. A police spokesman said one of three LeT militants who killed Hakim, alongwith his accomplice was shot dead in an encounter with security forces in Handwara area of border district of Kupwara today.
He identified the deceased militant as Liyaqat Ahmad Lone alias Sahaba alias Umar Khalid of Sopore and said he alongwith two other local LeT militants Gani Khawaja and Majid Mir were involved in killing of Hakim.Another militant killed in today's encounter in Handwara was identified as Furqan Rashid Lone alias Adil of Langate, Kupwara.
In past, there were spate of mysterious killings in Valley and they were blamed on unidentified gunmen, who were never identified.People fear that if the latest killings are not probed, then mysterious killings may again become norm and haunt them.