Terrorists in Kashmir kill five labourers from Bengal

Published : October 30, 2019 17:29 IST

Zahooruddin Sheikh from Murshidabad in West Bengal, who survived the terrorist attack in Kulgam, at the SHMS Hospital in Srinagar. Five of his friends, all labourers, were killed in the attack. Photo: PTI

A pall of grief has fallen over the two villages of Bahalnagar and Brahmani in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district, which used to be the home of the five labourers who were killed by terrorists in Kulgam, Kashmir. Mursaaleen Sheikh, Rafiq Sheikh and Zahooruddin Sheikh from Bahalnagar village and Rafiqul Sheikh, Qamar ud din Sheikh and Nijamuddin Sheikh from Brahmani village were working in the apple orchards of Kulgam. On the evening of October 29, terrorists abducted them from the rented accommodation they were sharing at Katrasoo near Kulgam town, and shot them. Only Zahooruddin Sheikh survived, but is reported to be in a critical condition.

Both Bahalnagar and Brahmani are impoverished villages and most of the men there look for jobs as labourers in different parts of the country. This was not the first time that these labourers had gone to Kashmir for employment. They would stay there for two to three months, earning between Rs.500 and Rs.700 a day in the apple orchards.

Reacting to the murders, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “In a most unfortunate incident in Kashmir yesterday, five innocent labourers were brutally killed in a preplanned manner. We are totally shocked! Presently there are no political activities in Kashmir and entire law and order is with the Government of India. We, therefore, demand a strong investigation so that the real truth comes out.

“We are deputing Shri Sanjay Singh ADG South Bengal to find out details from them.

“Our party MPs and MLAs have reached Murshidabad to meet the family members of victims. Our government is providing Rs five lakh each to the victim’s family and render all assistance to them”

This latest terror strike has come at a time when representatives of the European Union are visiting Kashmir at the invitation of the Government of India.

The Congress MP from Berhampore and Leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said the Centre should have taken steps to ensure the protection of those who had come to Kashmir from outside. “Instead they are trying to take credit for everything, and trying to keep Europeans happy. But the Europeans themselves are not being able to move around there. What good has come of all this? Innocent people got killed in the process,” said Chowdhury after visiting the families of those killed in Kulgam.

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