Jeweller’s Killing Poses New Challenge To Security Establishment

Family members grieve the death of Satpal Nischal at their home in Indira Nagar area of Srinagar | KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: The killing of a non-local jeweller by unidentified gunmen in Srinagar’s Saraibala area on Thursday has thrown up a new challenge before the security establishment

70-year-old Satpal Nischal, born and brought up in Punjab, was shot dead by suspected bike-borne militants near his shop at Saraibala here, months after he purchased it after obtaining a domicile certificate. He had received three gunshot wounds in chest and died before making it to Srinagar's SMHS hospital for treatment.

The Resistance Front (TRF) claimed responsibility for killing Satpal, hours after the shootout. The statement of militant outfit went viral on the social media in which it threatened that “any Indian national irrespective of faith, caste or colour who comes to Kashmir with the intention of settling here, will be treated as an agent of RSS and not as a civilian”

According to family friends, Satpal has lived and worked in Kashmir for over three decades. He came here in early 80’s and worked as a gold smith for a brief period. Following the outbreak of militancy, Satpal moved again to his hometown in Amritsar district of Punjab.

“He used to make small gold ornaments for local jewellers. In late 90’s, he returned to Kashmir and resumed his business again” a close family friend told Kashmir Observer.

After the abrogation of special status followed by introduction of domicile laws, Satpal, his friend said, purchased a shop in Saraibala and a house in Indira Nagar. Besides Satpal, his brother is also in the jewellery business. He owns a flat in Sainik Colony Jammu, the family friend said.

Two years earlier, he said, Nischal’s son died of cancer. He is survived by his widow and three children, including a daughter settled in Amritsar.

Parties Condemn Killing

Meanwhile political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday condemned the killing of a goldsmith in Srinagar a day ago, saying violence has no place in a civilised society.

Suspected militants on Thursday evening shot dead Satpal Singh, a goldsmith, at Sarai Bala area in the city.

Taking to Twitter, National Conference Vice-President Omar Abdullah said the killing was very unfortunate.

"Very unfortunate. There can be no justification for this kind of violence. May the soul of the departed rest in peace & may his family find strength at this difficult time," Abdullah wrote.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti while expressing condolences to the family of Singh, said violence has no place in a civilised society.

"Condemn the gruesome killing of an innocent man in Srinagar yesterday. Violence has no place in a civilised society. Deepest condolences to the bereaved family," she said in a tweet.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee also condemned the killing and conveyed deepest condolences to the bereaved family, a statement from the party said.

Describing the incident as "very unfortunate, mindless and a shameful act", the JKPCC said the killing of innocent people was not acceptable in a civilized society and deserves strong condemnation.

The JKPCC appealed to the government to identify the killers so that exemplary punishment is given to them to ensure justice to the deceased.  (With inputs from Agencies)

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