Sopore - Jammu &Kashmir

Indian child injured as militants fire at fruit traders

A five-year-old girl was wounded when suspected militants fired at fruit growers in Sopore - North Kashmir - on Friday night. Three fruit growers were shot in the legs, apparently as punishment for opening their shops at the Sopore fruit market. The shutdown in the Valley completed 34 days on Saturday.

According to Srinagar District Magistrate Shahid Choudhary, efforts were being made to arrange an air ambulance to fly a wounded child to New Delhi for treatment. The girl’s family has resisted the government’s move to shift her. Doctors have said that all four injured individuals — Mohammad Ashraf, Mohammad Ramzan, Asma, and her father Arshad Rather — are out of danger.

The suspected militants commandeered a vehicle in which two small-time fruit growers, Mohammad Ashraf and Mohammad Ramzan, were headed home to Dangerpora village in Sopore. They forced the two men to drive to the home of a prominent local fruit trader, Hameedullah Rather. reports that the three marketers and the girl were taken to Srinagar’s Bone and Joint (B&J) Hospital, where Asma was referred to the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).

Unlawful violence
Militants in the region are also threatening the apple growers of Kashmir not to send their produce to Indian markets. These warning came through posters and pamphlets in Shopian, signed by Hizbul commander Naveed Babu alias Babar Azam. The posters ask the transporters, mandis, local shop owners and other business establishments not to carry out their business activities. The poster also asks all shopkeepers to keep their business activities shut. "Violators will have to pay a heavy penalty", the poster said.

Similar threats have been issued to educational institutions - schools, colleges, universities, asking them not to open.

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