(This News Article Is Originally Posted on ZEE News by Ananya Das)
The son of the owner of popular food joint Krishna Dhaba, located in a high-security area of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, was shot at by terrorists from a close range and critically wounded on Wednesday evening, police said. The victim, Akash Mehra, was immediately rushed to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital where his condition was stated to be critical, officials said.
The terrorists fired upon him near Sonwar area of Srinagar. Incidentally, the area is just one kilometre from the hotel where 23 foreign envoys are staying. The Jammu and Kashmir Police has called it is a terrorist attack.
A senior police officer told that the terrorists fired upon a man, identified as Akash Mahra, at Krishna Dhaba near Durga Nag area of Sonwar. Banned terror outfit Muslim Janbaz Force/TRF has claimed responsibility for the attack, they said. However, it has only been claimed on social network and not has been authenticated by any security official.
At about 7.45 pm Srinagar Police received information about a terror crime incident at Krishna Daba area of Dalgate Srinagar where terrorists had fired upon a civilian. Senior police officers reached the spot. The terrorists used pistol for crime and two empty cartridges were recovered from the spot.
The police are looking at the CCTV footage after some eyewitnesses claimed that the terrorists ran away. Mehra is the son of Krishna Dhaba’s owner Ramesh Kumar Mehra, a resident of Janipora in Jammu. Police have registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law. The investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime.
An eyewitness and uncle of the Akash, Subhash Chandra said, “I was inside the shop few people came inside shop and shot Akash he got two bullets they left and fired outside also.” As per the official sources, Krishna Dhaba was full of tourists at the time of the firing. Meanwhile, the whole area has been cordoned off to nab the attackers.
The eatery, which is famous for serving vegetarian food, is located in Durganag area of the city. Several high-profile installations like the office of UN Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) and the residence of the Jammu and Kashmir chief justice are located within 200 metres of the food joint.
The attack comes on a day when a group of envoys including those from several European Union countries and a few Organisation of Islamic Countries’ member states began a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to get a first-hand account of the situation in the newly carved union territory, especially after the recently-concluded local body elections.
The envoys which have representation from four Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC)–Malaysia, Bangladesh, Senegal and Tajikistan — were taken to Magam in central Kashmir amid heightened security arrangements in the city and elsewhere in the Valley, officials said. The delegation of 24 envoys also visited the historic Hazratbal shrine on the banks of Dal Lake on the first day of their visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
The envoys are putting up in a hotel barely two kilometres from the attack site. During a private visit of the first batch of envoys to the union territory in October 2019, terrorists had shot dead five migrant labourers hailing from West Bengal in Shopian.
This is the second attack on non-Kashmiri residents in the city after the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier in January, a jeweller, Satpal, settled in Kashmir for the last five decades, was shot dead. The Resistance Front, a shadow outfit of Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group, had claimed responsibility for the attack.