Atleast one person was killed and four others were wounded when suspected militants fired upon a liquor shop on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar on Thursday, reminding people of early 1990s when liquor shops and cinemas were forced to shut in the valley.
Police said that two militants fired upon the employees of the liquor shop selling wine near a hotel on Boulevard road some distance away from Nehru Park, an Island garden inside Dal Lake and a major tourist attraction in the city.
"Of the four injured, three were the salesman of the shop while one was a passerby," said Nehru park Police post in-charge Kuldeep Kumar.
Police sources believed that the attack seem to frighten than actually kill, as most of the injured were targeted on their lower limbs.
"The injuries were mostly confined to the lower limbs of the victims like hips and thighs," said Kumar.
While the three injured were residents of Srinagar, one was from Jammu division's Kathua district.
When armed insurgency broke out in the valley in 1989, militants owing to their conservative Muslim beliefs forced cinemas and liquor shops across valley to close down terming them un-Islamic.
A decade later in 1999, when the security situation seemed to improve a bit, government offered financial incentives to the cinema owners to open cinemas again. Three took up the offer. The Regal closed down after a grenade attack on the very first show. Broadway closed down a few years later because of low attendance.
And despite, Union minister Farooq Abdullah openly advocating the sale of liquor to boost tourism, only two outlets are operating in Srinagar. One which was target of Thursday's attack and the other lies in the heart of army cantonment which houses strategic Chinar corps of Indian army.