The son of the owner of a popular eatery Krishna Dhaba, who was shot at by militants 11 days ago in Srinagar, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital on Sunday. Jammu & Kashmir political parties, who expressed their condolences, said the root cause of violence had to be addressed.
An official said Aakash Mehra, son of the eatery owner Ramesh Kumar Mehra, had a bullet perforation in his abdomen and succumbed to his injuries at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar.
Mehra, who was from Jammu’s Janipur area, was critically wounded on February 17 near his shop by gunmen. Police said that all the three attackers involved in the attack were arrested within 48 hours of the incident.
The incident took place when foreign envoys were touring J&K to “assess the ground situation”.
National Conference (NC) president Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who described the death as “tragic”, asked the Centre to address the root cause of the violence.
“Those who shout from the top of the mountains that everything is hunky dory and bring envoys here need to answer if militancy is dead. They [the militants] will continue to do this. It is not going to end. They [the government] have to find what is the cause of these things and try to treat the cause,” Dr. Abdullah said.
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti said she was shocked and saddened to know about Mehra’s death.
“Guns are no solution to any problem. People should always keep peaceful means as our lodestar and not lose sight of the fact that there are elements who wish to bracket us as violent and extremist so as to de-legitimise our aspirations and our struggle,” Ms. Mufti said
She said Kashmiris should not let despair decide their destiny but rather strengthen their resolve, unify their ranks and articulate their pain vociferously.
“We have always advocated dialogue and reconciliation. No matter what they said till yesterday, today we see them only emulating the Mufti Sayeed’s roadmap. The recent joint statement of DGMOs (Director General of Military Operations) of Indo-Pak armies is a case in point. We want them to take this forward to the highest levels and also engage with the people of J&K constructively, respecting their dignity,” she added.
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