February 2021 News

Owner Of Popular Dhaba Near Envoys' Hotel In Srinagar Shot

17 February 2021
India Today
Kamaljit Kaur Sandhu and Ashraf Wani

New Delhi: A 22-year-old son of a dhaba (roadside food joint) owner was injured after suspected terrorists allegedly shot at him in Dalgate area of Srinagar, merely a few kilometres away from Hotel Lalit where over 20 foreign envoy's were staying overnight for a two-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir. The youth has been identified as Aakash Mehra, son of Ramesh Kumar Mehra. He was immediately rushed to SMHS Hospital where his condition was stated to be stable, news agency PTI quoted police as saying. Police further said the doctors were still monitoring his condition. Terrorists, suspected to be a member of The Resistance Front (TRF), shot at him near the Krishna Dhaba, a popular food joint in Durganag Dalgate area in Srinagar. However, according to officials, a lesser know banned terror outfit, 'Muslim Janbaz Force', which was active in Kashmir during early 90's, claimed the responsibility for the attack. The organisation is headed by Chaudhary Yasin, a resident of Handwara. He is the vice-chairman of the United Jihad Council with Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) chief as it's chairman. 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. Srinagar: Unknown persons fired upon a worker at an eatery near Durga Nag area. Search operations underway. The area is just 1 KM from the hotel where 23 envoys are staying. Several politicians took to Twitter to express shock over the terror attack. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, 'Deeply saddened by the attack on Krishna Dhaba at Sonawar in Srinagar. Extend my sympathies to the injured and his family. Violence is never the answer.' Deeply saddened by the attack on Krishna Dhaba at Sonawar in Srinagar. Extend my sympathies to the injured & his family. Violence is never the answer - Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) February 17, 2021 National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said, 'Very sorry to hear about the attack on the Krishna Dhaba in Srinagar. These attacks are unacceptable. I hope the injured person who is himself associated with the dhaba and is undergoing treatment at a city hospital makes a complete and speedy recovery. (sic)' Very sorry to hear about the attack on the Krishna Dhaba in Srinagar, these attacks are unacceptable. I hope the injured person who is himself associated with the dhaba & is undergoing treatment in a city hospital makes a complete & speedy recovery. - Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 17, 2021 Former minister and People's Conference leader Sajad Lone said, 'Krishna Dhaba (is) an iconic eating place (that) has served the tourists for decades. And this ghastly news of an attack on his (owner's) son and his medically critical condition. What madness is this? Who are these cowards who find soft targets? My heartfelt sympathies. May he live long.' Krishna Dhaba an iconic eating place has served the tourists foe decades. And this ghastly news of an attack on his son and his medically critical condition. What madness is this. Who r these cowards who find soft targets. My heartfelt sympathies. May he live long. - Sajad Lone (@sajadlone) February 17, 2021. 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 20-member delegation reached Srinagar amid heightened security arrangements on Wednesday. The delegation is scheduled to visit Jammu on Thursday. The team includes envoys from Europe and African nations, including Chile, Brazil, Cuba, Bolivia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, EU, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, Eritrea, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan. The envoys are putting up in a hotel barely two kilometres from the attack site. The eatery, Krishna Dhaba, is famous for serving vegetarian food It is located in Durganag area of the city. Several high-profile installations like the office of UN Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan and the residence of the Jammu and Kashmir chief justice are located within 200 metres of the food joint.

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