Unidentified gunmen, widely believed to be militants, have gunned down two more non-Kashmiri drivers and set their trucks on fire, yet again in the South Kashmir district of Shopian.
Residents said that a group of three to four gunmen appeared at Chitragam, Zainapora, about 15 km from the district headquarters of Shopian, at around 7:00 pm on Thursday, 24 October. They opened indiscriminate fire on two or three trucks which were being laden with apples. Two drivers died on the spot before the police and security forces reached there. One more driver, in critical condition, was evacuated and rushed to Srinagar.
The labourers and others on the spot ran away into the village immediately after they heard gunshots and spotted two trucks in flames. Residents said the shootout spread a wave of terror in the apple-rich Shopian district where suspected militants had shot dead two more outsiders associated with the fruit business earlier this month.
Additional Director General of Police, Security and Law & Order, Munir Khan, told that, like the two previous incidents, thursday’s killings were aimed at spreading fear among the fruit growers and transporters currently carrying apples from the Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other destinations.
On quoting preliminary reports from Shopian, Mr Khan said that one of the slain drivers had been identified as Illyas Khan of Alwar, Rajasthan, while no photo identity card or documents had been found on the second dead body.