Kashmir Staff’s killing: Pandit shopowner says he left at police warning

Kashmir Staff’s killing: Pandit shopowner says he left at police warning

India News

THE DAY after a salesman at a wholesale grocery shop was shot by suspected militants in the old city area of Srinagar, the shop-owner, who is a Kashmiri Pandit, said he had been warned Monday afternoon by the local police about a possible attack and advised to leave the shop.

The killing of the salesman, Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, around 8 pm Monday may have been a case of mistaken identity, shop-owner Sandeep Mawa told The Indian Express Tuesday.

“During the day, the police from the local station called me and said they have inputs about a possible attack in the area. They advised me to go home. After that warning, I left my shop during the day,” Mawa said.

“Usually, our shop remains open till 7-7.30 in the evening. Yesterday (Monday), there was a rush of customers, and the salesman was there till 8 pm. I called him in the evening and told him to close the shop as it was getting late,” he said.

According to Mawa, Khan closed the shop and got into a car that belonged to Mawa when the suspected militants fired at him. Khan succumbed to injuries in hospital. “They (militants) mistook him for me. They were waiting in the dark and when he got into the car, they fired at him,” Mawa said.

A senior officer in J&K Police, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed that Mawa had been alerted about a possible attack, and that the shop-owner had earlier been provided with two Personal Security Officers (PSOs).

Mawa said the PSOs were allotted to him about a month-and-a-half ago.

Khan, 45, was killed a day after a policeman was shot in the Batamaloo neighbourhood of Srinagar by suspected militants. The two killings within 24 hours come in the wake of heavy security deployment across Srinagar following a spree of civilian killings, including of migrant workers, last month.

The grocery shop, located in the Bohri Kadal neighbourhood, was reopened by Mawa’s father Roshan Lal Mawa in 2019 after the family returned to the Valley, which they had left in the 1990s during the height of the militancy.

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