Second civilian killing in Sopore in five days | india | Hindustan Times
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Second civilian killing in Sopore in five days

A deafening silence prevails over the house of 27-year-old Muhammad Ashraf Dar, who got engaged last week with the dream to solemnize his marriage in near future, in north Kashmir’s militant hotspot Sopore.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2011 19:02 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

A deafening silence prevails over the house of 27-year-old Muhammad Ashraf Dar, who got engaged last week with the dream to solemnize his marriage in near future, in north Kashmir’s militant hotspot Sopore. Suspected militants fired at Dar outside his residence on Wednesday night before fleeing under the cover of darkness. This is second suspected militants’ killing of civilian in the last five days in the area.

“He (Dar) was innocent. He did nothing,” cries Dar’s mother at her modest house on Muslim Educational Trust road in Sopore, 55 km north of Srinagar.

Dar was on phone when he was last seen alive by his family members. "Around 9:50 pm yesterday he left home. Gun shots were heard around 10:15pm,” said a relative.

Bullet riddled body of Dar, a labourer by profession, was recovered a few hundred metres away from his residence near Krankshivan Colony on Thursday morning by locals. No separatist group issued any statement condemning the killing, where militants' hand is suspected.

“Militants are frustrated after the elimination of their cadre in the recent encounters in north Kashmir so they are resorting to such acts,” said Sopore superintendent of police Altaf Khan.

Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Muhammad lost five top commanders in an encounter in north Kashmir’s Lolab area recently.

Wednesday’s killing of a civilian came just five days after suspected militants killed 32-year-old Mohsin Ahmed Wani, a resident of Jalabad Sopore. The victim was the only child of his widowed mother and is survived by a young widow and three daughters, the eldest one just four year old.

Sopore is dominated by the LeT and the Hizbul Mujahideen militants. LeT’s three big names Abdullah Unni, suspected to be a Pakistan-occupied Kashmir resident, Abu Huzaifa and Muzaffar Naiko, both locals, are active in the area. Unni is giving the police a slip for the past three years now.

According to police records, more than 15 militants have been killed in north Kashmir in the previous three months. "Sopore is a tough area for security forces since it’s close to the border area of Kupwara and, of late, has become a transit point for militants to fan out into entire north Kashmir," said a police officer.