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Shopian ‘terrorist’ identified in Kashmiri Pandit killing; property attached, kin held for questioning

The Times of India logo The Times of India 17-08-2022 M Saleem Pandit
© Provided by The Times of India

SRINAGAR: J&K police launched a hunt Wednesday after identifying a man named Adil Ahmad Wani of Kutpora village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district and a Pakistani terrorist as the killers of a Kashmiri Pandit orchard owner in Chotigam village the day before.

J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh told reporters that strict action would be taken against them, while additional DGP Vijay Kumar said a search team seized arms and ammunition from Wani’s home.

Another officer said Wani’s house was attached and three men related to him were picked up for “harbouring” a terrorist. Properties of the arrested trio—Arif Ahmad Wani, Shabir Ahmad Wani and Touseef Ahmad Wani—will likely be attached too under relevant sections of the law.

READ ALSO: Terrorists gun down Kashmiri Pandit in J&K, injure brother

Sources said a combined team of police, Army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF’s 178 Battalion raided Wani’s house in a pre-dawn swoop Wednesday following information that he was hiding there. The terrorist threw a grenade, prompting the search party to fire back, but he escaped in the darkness.

The security forces found an AK-series rifle, a magazine and a pistol in the house that police said was used as a hideout. The attic served as an armoury for terrorist weapons/ammo.

Sunil Kumar Nath, 45, was shot dead in cold blood and his younger brother Pintoo was critically wounded in a sneak attack by Wani and a masked Pakistani terrorist when the siblings were tending their orchard at Chotigam in Shopian district.

READ ALSO: Muslim neighbours rush to slain Kashmiri Pandit’s aid

The murder triggered widespread condemnation, even from native Kashmiris of the majority community who came in hundreds from nearby areas to pay respect and attend Nath’s last rites. Unity slogans were heard at the funeral amid calls to end the bloodshed.

“People supported positive moves. The calm on August 5 and 15 is appreciable and the people supported the Amaranth Yatra in every possible way too. This didn’t suit the anti-peace elements. They try to disturb peace, but their attempts have been and will be foiled,” DGP Dilbagh Singh said on the sidelines of a ceremony for seven ITBP personnel who died when their bus fell into a gorge in Pahalgam while they were returning from Amaranth Yatra duty on Tuesday.

ITBP director general SL Thaosen said the 32 injured personnel were getting the best medical treatment possible. They will be shifted to Delhi if the need arises.

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