The Deepening Mystery


Another person was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Sopore on Tuesday. The deceased Sheikh Altaf was working as a pharmacist in the Health Department. He is also supposed to have been associated with the Syed Ali Geelani led faction of Hurriyat Conference. He was on his way to work when gunmen fired several shots at him in New Colony Sopore. This comes within a few weeks of killing of another youngster in Sopore who worked at a BSNL Franchise in the town. That incident had sparked the closure of mobile towers across Sopore and telecom services in the town remained closed for many days. The fear had spread to other parts of the valley and a complete shutdown of telecom services in the valley looked quite imminent. The Jammu and Kashmir Police had announced arrest of many people in connection with the killing of the BSNL employee. The Police also announced that Hizb ul Mujahideen was responsible for that killing. But till date the Police has not brought anything concrete in the case and it still remains a mystery.

The police has again registered a case in Tuesday’s killing in Sopore and has started its investigation. “We have just started to investigate the case. The details can be divulged only after the probe is completed,” said Director General of Police (DGP) K. Rajindra Kumar. In the meantime, Inspector General of Police, Syed Javed Gillani has hinted at the involvement of Hizbul Mujahideen in Tuesday’s killing. “After collecting physical evidence, police has found that the bullet used in today’s attack was the same as used in previous killings in Sopore,” said Gilani.

The police’s claims without proving them are making matters worse. There is already a growing sense of fear among people in Kashmir owing to these mysterious killings, reminding them of the mid ‘90s when counter insurgency began in Kashmir which resulted in the killing of many  people. The counter insurgency operations in Kashmir during that time had spread terror among people. People are not taking the claim of the police that militants are behind these killings at face value. Knowing the mystery that shrouds such incidents in Kashmir, the cynicism of common people regarding these police claims is understandable. The onus now lies with the j and K Police to prove its claims and reassure the people that they are working for their safety and well being.

Meanwhile Hizbul Mujahideen has also said that it will not spare the killers of Sheikh Altaf. The militant group claimed that it was a conspiracy by the State to defame the organization. The claims and counter claims notwithstanding, common people in Kashmir want the culprits to be nabbed and truth to come out soon, without adding further to the mystery. 

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