Kashmiris are not involved in the recent spate of killings of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday, PTI reported. Abdullah claimed that the attacks were part of a conspiracy to defame Kashmiris.

His comment came on a day when two labourers from Bihar were shot dead and one more was injured after suspected militants opened fire in Wanpoh area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday.

The attack in Kulgam took place just a day after two other migrant workers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were shot dead in Srinagar and Pulwama.

As many as 12 civilians have so far been killed in Kashmir this month.

One was shot dead by the Central Reserve Police Force while the remaining 11 were killed by militants. The Resistance Front, believed to be an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for most of them.

Farooq said that the killings were unfortunate. But, the former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir added that the incidents were part of a conspiracy.

Leaders express concern

Several political leaders have expressed concern over the recent killings of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.

Bihar’s Labour Minister Jivesh Mishra said that the killings have created panic among migrant workers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to NDTV.

“Those who have tendencies towards violence can’t tolerate that normalcy is returning [to Kashmir],” he said.

BJP leader Nikhil Anand claimed that the “targeted killings” were being carried out with support from Pakistan along with the “Taliban sympathisers”, according to the Hindustan Times.

The return of Taliban, Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury said, could have an impact on Kashmir. “I [had] also expressed my concern that this silence in Kashmir is a signal of an upcoming storm,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday evening after the attack on labourers from Bihar, the Hindustan Times reported.

The chief minister expressed concern over killings of Biharis living in Kashmir. He also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the families of the deceased.