More security forces were deployed in Kashmir on Wednesday, a day after a terror attack in Kulgam district claimed the lives of six labourers from West Bengal, PTI reported. Five of the labourers died soon after the attack, while one succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday. All six were from Murshidabad district in West Bengal.
Security personnel and a flying squad were stationed in several areas of Srinagar and across the Valley. Unidentified officials said that vehicles would be randomly checked and civilians would be frisked under the security drill.
The soldiers have been deployed to foil attempts from “anti-national elements” to target non-locals or to disrupt peace in the Valley, officials said. Markets remained shut and public transport was off the streets on Wednesday, they said.
The attack took place hours after suspected militants attacked a patrol party of the Central Reserve Police Force stationed near a school in Drubgam in Pulwama district. No casualties were reported in the incident. The school was being used as an exam centre for the Class 10 board examinations, which are currently underway.
A number of attacks have struck civilians since India abrogated the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and imposed prohibitory orders in the state. On October 24, terrorists had shot dead two truck drivers transporting apples in Shopian district, and injured one. A week earlier, an apple trader from Punjab was shot dead by suspected terrorists in Shopian. The same day, a labourer from Chhattisgarh in Pulwama district was gunned down. On October 14, a truck driver from Rajasthan was shot dead in Shopian.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday promised all help to the families of the migrant workers from the state who were killed in Kulgam. “In a most unfortunate incident in Kashmir yesterday, five innocent labourers were brutally killed in a pre-planned manner,” she tweeted. “We are totally shocked!”
The chief minister said that no political activities were being allowed in Kashmir and that the Centre was handling the law and order situation in the region. “We, therefore, demand a strong investigation so that the real truth comes out,” she said. “We are deputing Shri Sanjay Singh, assistant deputy general, South Bengal, to find out details from them.”
Banerjee said her party’s legislators had reached Murshidabad district to meet the families of the victims. A compensation of Rs five lakh each would be given to the families, she said.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankar also expressed shock at the killings, which he described as “cowardly”. “In deep pain and sadness I condemn the wanton killing by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir of five workers from Murshidabad,” he tweeted. “We need to shun violence. Appeal to government and NGOs to extend help to bereaved families.”
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