SRINAGAR: On the day EU lawmakers arrived in Kashmir, for on-the-spot assessment of the situation, militants unleashed a bloodbath and shot dead five non-local labourers and injuring another in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Police sources said militants barged into a rented house of the non-local labourers and opened indiscriminate fire at the inmates on Tuesday evening.

 “Five non-local labourers were killed on the spot, and another was injured. The injured was immediately shifted to Kulgam district hospital after which he was taken to a Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment”, said a police official.
Four of the slain were identified as Qamardin, Mursaleen, Rafiq and Zahoor-ud-Din, all from West-Bengal.
“In Kulgam, terrorists have killed five civilians. The Police are on the spot. Information is preliminary in nature,” tweeted Kashmir Police Zone.

Soon after the incident, joint teams of forces launched a massive combing operation in the area to track down the militants involved in the attack.

This is the sixth incident, third in five days where militants have targeted non-locals in Kashmir. Since October 7, at least six non-locals, including four truckers, a fruit trader and a labourer has been killed by militants.
Last Thursday, militants went on a rampage killing two non-local truck drivers and setting apple trucks on fire in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.

  On October 14, militants appeared in Shirmal village and hijacked the truck along with the driver. After covering a few kilometres, they took the driver to a location where he was shot dead from point-blank range. Later, they set the truck ablaze before fleeing from the spot. The slain truck driver was identified as Sharief Khan from Rajasthan.

 Two days later on October 16, militants unleashed a fresh wave of terror against the non-locals, when they killed an apple trader and a migrant labourer in two separate incidents in Shopian and Pulwama districts of South Kashmir.

Fear has gripped fruit growers after the attacks on non-locals including apple traders and truck drivers in restive south Kashmir. A large quantity of apple crop lies in the orchards and warehouses, waiting to be exported to outside-the-state markets.
On Monday militants upped the ante and carried out two back to back attacks, killing a trucker and injuring 19 civilians across the valley on Monday.

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates’ which produced the famous series “Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir” for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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