J&K CM Orders Probe Into Sopore Killings as Separatist Leaders Call For Strike

Srinagar: A shopkeeper was shot dead by suspected militants on June 15 in the north Kashmir town of Sopore, in the fourth civilian killing in a week and second since yesterday, police said.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ordered an expeditious enquiry into the killings and convened a meeting of the Unified Headquarters on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

“The Chief Minister has taken a serious view of the killings of civilians in Sopore and issued directions to the Home Department for stepping up investigations and providing secure environment to all civilians,” an official spokesman said.

He said the matter is scheduled to be discussed in the meeting of the Unified Headquarters, which has been convened on June 17, adding that the police has taken all possible steps to fast-track investigation into all the relevant aspects of the incidents and set up special monitoring mechanism to keep track of proper investigation.

Meanwhile, several separatist outfits in Jammu and Kashmir called for a state-wide strike on Wednesday to protest the string of attacks.

The decision was taken after a consultative meeting between representatives of Hurriyat Conference faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik-headed JKLF.

A spokesman of the moderate Hurriyat denounced the killing of the shopkeeper in the town, saying the separatist leadership “cannot remain a mute spectator to these daring incidents of killing”.

He said the top separatist leaders including Mirwaiz, Geelani and Malik would visit Sopore on Friday to express solidarity with people of the town.