Pharmacy Owner Among 3 Civilians Shot Dead in Span of 1 Hour in Kashmir

People carry the body of owner of Bindroo medicate Makhan Lal Bindroo at SMHS Hospital | KO photo by Abid Bhat

Srinagar: A prominent Kashmiri Pandit pharmacist, a street vendor from Bihar and Hajin taxi union head were shot dead in three back to back attacks within an hour in this capital city and north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, setting alarm bells ringing in the security establishment.

The first killing occurred around 7:20 pm Tuesday when suspected pistol-borne militants entered Bindroo Healthzone, Iqbal Park here and fired multiple shots at the owner Makhan Lal Bindroo, leaving him collapsed behind his counter in a pool of blood, officials said.

68-year-old Bindroo, a prominent pharmacist, they said, was removed to the SMHS hospital for treatment. However, the doctors there declared him dead.

"He had received one fatal bullet injury on the left eyebrow and three on the left and right shoulder." Medical Superintendent SMHS, Kanwaljeet Singh told Kashmir Observer.

Police in a tweet said the area was cordoned off and hunt launched for the assailants.

#Terrorists fired upon Owner of Bindroo Medicate namely Shri Makhan Lal Bindroo near Iqbal Park #Srinagar. He was shifted to hospital where he #succumbed to his injuries. Area cordoned off & search to nab the terrorists is going on", J&K Police Kashmir Zone Tweeted.

The attack on Bindroo took place barely hundreds of metres from SSP Srinagar's office and Cargo Camp of police located in the area that on daily basis maintains a bustling environment.

Bindroo was among a few Kashmiri Pandit's who stayed put in Kashmir despite the adverse situation of early nineties when his community migrated from their homeland enmasse.

It is pertinent to mention here that M.L Bindroo started his career from his father's shop in Hari Singh High Street in 1970's and later on went to rise as one of the most successful Chemists in the valley.

As per several locals, it was M L Bindroo who'd first started procuring the medicines from the international market and sold them at affordable rates in Srinagar. While he used to stay at his pharmacy in Iqbal park, his wife used to look after the daily affairs of their other shop at Hari Singh High Street.

"The medicines that one couldn't find anywhere in the Valley were only available at Bindroo's shop." Surinder Hakoo, a teacher told Kashmir Observer.

A resident of Iqbal Park, M.L Bindroo owned a shopping complex there where he operated his pharmacy.

Bindroo's uncle, Roshan Lal Maava was also shot dead by suspected militants during the peak of militancy in 1990's outside his shop in Bohri Kadal.

Bihar Resident killed

Nearly 30 minutes after Bindroo’s killing; suspected militants shot dead a street food vendor identified as Virender Paswan in Bota Kadal area of the city. Paswan, a golgappa seller, was currently staying at a rented accommodation in Alamgari Bazar- Zadibal.

“I was passing through the area when I found people rushing towards a man lying in a pool of blood on the road. I thought he had probably fainted and hurt his head. Later I came to know that he has been shot dead,” Mohammad Abrar, an eyewitness told Kashmir Observer.

Thousands of non locals from various Indian states have been working as street vendors and labourers in Kashmir despite adverse security situations.

Hajin Killing

The third killing of the day was reported from north Kashmir’s Bandipora district at around 8:05pm, officials said.

They said militants shot at and injured Mohammad Shafi Lone alias Sonu in Shahgund village of Hajin town on Saturday evening. Shafi, President of Sumo Drivers Association Naidkhai, was removed to the community health centre (CHC) Sumbal for treatment.

However, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Today’s killings come three days after suspected militants shot dead two people in back to back attacks in Srinagar’s Karan Nagar and Batamaloo areas of this capital city on Saturday last.

Majid Gojri was shot dead by suspected militants around 5:30pm Saturday near Madina Complex in Karan Nagar area of the city. Barely two hours later, gunmen appeared in SD Colony, Batamaloo and shot dead Muhammad Shafi Dar.

Meanwhile, police in a statement issued here this evening claimed militants for the killings

“Police have registered cases regarding these terror crime incidents,” a police spokesperson said.

“Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of these terror crimes. The respective areas have been cordoned and search in these areas is going on,” he added.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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