Srinagar: Suspected terrorists shot at and injured a man inside Krishna Dhaba, a popular eatery in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, on Wednesday evening.
The injured man, who has been identified as Akash Mehra, the owner’s son, received gunshot wounds and is being treated in hospital.
The police say this a terrorist attack.
“A case has been registered and the investigation is underway, with officers working to establish the full circumstances of this terror attack,” a police spokesperson said.
A terrorist group has claimed responsibility for today’s attack and has linked it to the centre’s new law that allows residents of any state to buy immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir.
The group has warned of more such attacks.
Last year the centre notified a new land law that allowed non-locals the right to buy immovable property in the Union Territory. The centre’s August 2019 move – scrapping of special powers under Article 370 and dividing J&K into two union territories – paved the way for that change.
As of early January, over 10 lakh domicile certificates had been issued in the Kashmir valley, with most to local residents. Data to show how many non-locals got the certificate has not been released.
On December 31 last year a 65-year-old goldsmith was shot dead at a busy market in Srinagar because, police sources said, he had acquired a domicile certificate the month before.
Political leaders, including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, have condemned the attack.
Deeply saddened by the attack on Krishna Dhaba at Sonawar in Srinagar. Extend my sympathies to the injured & his family. Violence is never the answer
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 17, 2021
Very sorry to hear about the attack on the Krishna Dhaba in Srinagar, these attacks are unacceptable. I hope the injured person who is himself associated with the dhaba & is undergoing treatment in a city hospital makes a complete & speedy recovery.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 17, 2021
Today’s attack happened when 24 foreign envoys were in Srinagar for the start of a two-day visit to assess the ground situation in Kashmir. The dhaba that was attacked is close to high-profile installations like the residence of the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
This is the fourth visit by foreign diplomats since the centre scrapped special constitutional status in 2019 – a move followed by a security blanket that included one of the longest internet shutdowns in a democratic country, and the detention of several prominent political leaders.
In January last year a 16-member delegation that included the US Ambassador visited J&K; countries from the European Union said they did not want a “guided tour” and stayed away. In October 2019 the centre allowed 23 EU lawmakers to visit – a move slammed by the opposition.
Among those visiting this time are ambassadors from Italy, France, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Brazil, Bangladesh, the EU and Ghana. Ahead of their visit, at least half-a-dozen bunkers of security forces were removed in Srinagar.