Days after the killing of Deepak Kumar, a circus worker, in Kashmir’s Anantnag, two terror organisations have come face to face over the dastardly act.
While one terror organisation — Kashmir Freedom Fighters — has taken the responsibility for the killing, the People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), backed by the Jaish-e-Mohammad, has criticised the gunning down of the poor circus worker.
Cutting across religious and political lines, several political and social groups in both regions of the UT had lambasted the act.
While the Kashmir Freedom Fighters has in the past claimed responsibility for the killing of Kashmiri Pandits and non-local Hindus, PAFF had claimed the responsibility for the ambush on an Army truck in Poonch on April 20 among other terror incidents.
In a purported press release issued on social media by the Kashmir Freedom Fighters, the group said, “Our cadre eliminated a non-local Hindu, Deepak, in Anantnag. As already warned in the past, we will not spare any non-local Hindu or Pandit coming to Kashmir under the facade of earning bread and butter.”
It further said, “Every non-local who comes to Kashmir is a settler. Those coming to Kashmir on the pretext of livelihood must know that we are aware of your hidden agenda and won’t let you sow the seeds of settler colonialism.”
What came as a surprise was the PAFF statement on the social media in which it criticised the act saying, “We are deeply saddened at the death of Deepak, who was a citizen of J&K and not any outsider. He was one of our own and was the sole breadwinner of a very poor family.”
It further stated, “No citizen of J&K, irrespective of his faith or colour or caste, should be harmed without solid proof that he or she is involved in subversive activities.” Both statements were issued on social media.
A senior police officer from Kashmir said terror organisations often claimed responsibility for the killing of non-locals. “However, this time there was anger even in Kashmir against Deepak’s killing as he was the sole breadwinner of his family. This might have triggered PAFF, which has been involved in several killings in the past, to gain sympathy by criticising the act,” he added.