A businessman was gunned down in Sopore town of north Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, the latest in a series of mysterious killings in the region by unidentified gunmen.
This was the third killing by militants in the town in Baramulla district this week.
Mairaj-ul-din Dar, the son of Mohammad Ahsan Dar, was shot near his shop at Badami Bagh in Sopore. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Dar was a former militant of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) who was running a poultry farm. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.
The killing occurred just two days after another shopkeeper, Altaf-ul-Rahman, was shot by suspected militants on Friday night. Earlier, a government employee, who was an activist of the hardline Hurriyat conference, was killed on Tuesday.
Baramulla is observing a shutdown over the killing of Altaf ul Rahman.
Sunday’s killing took the death toll in Sopore to five since a person was shot dead inside a BSNL showroom in May.
In the first attack in the area, the BSNL employee was killed and two more were injured when unidentified gunmen struck the showroom in Sopore. Another person hosting a mobile tower atop his house was killed a day later.
A hitherto unheard of militant group, the Lashkar-e-Islam, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Police claimed they had identified some local youngsters associated with the indigenous terror group Hizbul Mujahideen who were targeting telecom workers and infrastructure in a string of attacks that began last month, disrupting communication in the trouble-torn state.
Police had earlier said the Lashkar-e-Islam is a front for the Hizb, though Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salauddin had condemned the attacks.
Some reports from Sopore suggested a rouge militant group headed by a local commander was behind the attacks.
This militant group has been warning people that they will face severe punishment if they do not follow its diktats on stopping cable television and closing down liquor shops.