Known television analyst and lawyer Babar Qadri, an Al-Badr militant and a CRPF jawan were killed in three separate incidents in Kashmir on Thursday.
Two gunmen knocked the door of 39-year-old Qadri’s residence in Srinagar’s Hawal area around 6:30 p.m. and asked him to come out.
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“Mr. Qadri had just returned home from the court. He was shot in the head from a close range, immediately after he stepped outside his house. He was declared brought dead to the hospital,” a police official said.
No outfit has claimed responsibility for the killing. In 2018, Qadri had claimed that there was an assassination bid on his life “for his political views”.
Mr. Qadri was a regular analyst on the national news channel. He was the son-in-law of separatist Dr. Ghulam Qadir, who was also assassinated by unknown gunmen in the 1990s. Mr. Qadri is survived by wife and two young children.
J&K’s political parties condemned the killing. “The assassination of Mr. Qadri is tragic and I unequivocally condemn it. The sense of tragedy is all the more because he warned of the threat. Sadly his warning was in his last tweet,” National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah said.
Peoples Conference (PC) chief said he “is yet another victim of conflict. My thoughts with the family”.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman said his party “vehemently condemns the assassination”.
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Apni Party vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir termed the incident as “highly inhuman and barbaric”. “The killing of a young and promising lawyer who represented members of the poorest, most marginalised parts of Kashmir at all the forums available to him, including many of the victims of conflict,” he said.
Earlier in the day, one Al-Badr militant was killed in a joint operation of the security forces.
“He was offered an opportunity to surrender. Instead, he fired indiscriminately. The terrorist was identified as Irfan-ul-Haq Dar, a resident of Gadikhal Charsoo in Awantipora,” the police said.
They said Dar was released in April 2020 and “was an important motivator and influenced young minds for joining the terror ranks in Awantipora and Tral areas”. The police have decided to bury the body far away in Handwara area.
In another incident, militants attacked a CRPF checkpoint and killed a jawan in Budgam.
“The militants first lobbed a grenade and subsequently opened indiscriminate fire on the Road Opening Party (ROP) of 117 battalion CRPF. One jawan lost life in the terror attack,” an official said.
He was identified as ASI N. Bodolay from Nagpur. The attackers managed to snatch his rifle and flee.
“We have had successful operation in the recent past. In the current scenario, Pakistan and its agencies are trying to foment violence. However, this will be foiled,” DGP Dilbag Singh said.