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Man shot dead in J&K, cow vigilantes blamed

Google Maps image locates Qilla Mohalla at Bhaderwah town in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district.  

A civilian was shot dead and another injured by an armed group in the Chenab Valley’s Bhaderwah district, sparking violent protests amid curfew in the communally-sensitive area.

Armed assailants opened fire at Nayeem Ahmed Shah, 50, a resident of Qilla Mohalla in Bhaderwah and Yasir Hussain, around 2 a.m. when they were on the way home from Basti village along with their horses. Mr. Shah died on the spot.

“Around eight men stopped us and hurled abuses near a bridge at Nalthi village. They were cow vigilantes. One of them fired at Mr. Shah on the forehead,” said an eyewitness Hussian, who also suffered injuries in the attack.

A country-made single-barrel gun was used to open fire. The accused’s relatives, in a counter-claim, said “fire was opened after spotting suspicious movement.”

Meanwhile, seven accused were arrested and the eighth is on the run, according to the locals.

Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone, M.K. Sinha said curfew was imposed in the town after the incident.Without divulging details, Mr. Sinha said Mr. Shah was killed and another person injured “in a firing incident.” “The situation is under control,” he added.

Army called out

The Army was called out when locals staged violent protests in Seri Bazaar, Tekiya Chowk, and Pasri Bus Stand. Several vehicles and government property were damaged by the protesters. The agitators attacked the Bhaderwah police station with stones. Tear gas shells were fired to control the situation, a police official said.

Pervaiz Ahmed Sheikh, president of Bhaderwah’s Anjuman-e-Islamia, said, “It’s a cold blooded murder. All accused should be arrested.”

Shutdown call

Meanwhile, separatists Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have called for a Valley-wide shutdown over the incident.

Peoples Democratic Party MLA Firdous Tak blamed cow vigilantes. “Mr. Shah was murdered by cow vigilantes. The silence of the nation is noticeable,” said Mr. Tak.

Omar for probe

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah said, “The frequency and severity of cow vigilante violence has been a dreadful hallmark of the Modi-led Central government. I urge the incumbent administration to initiate a time-bound inquiry into the incident and bring the perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.”

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Jitendra Singh termed the incident “unfortunate.” “It’s time to exercise restraint instead of causing provocation. We are in constant touch with the district and State administration as well as police high-ups. I have also spoken to Governor Satya Pal Malik,” said Mr. Singh.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 12:15:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/man-shot-dead-in-jk-cow-vigilantes-blamed/article27153409.ece

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