Non-local apple traders and truck drivers have moved to secure locations in Kashmir following attacks by militants over the last few days. A trader from Punjab and his truck driver were fired upon by militants on Wednesday evening at Tranz village in Shopian district.
The trader died, while the driver was injured. Earlier in the day, a brick-kiln worker from Chhattisgarh S.A. Sagar was killed by militants at Nihama village in Pulwama district.
After the killings, fear has overtaken the non-Kashmiri traders and labourers working in Shopian. Sources said around 500 trucks from outside the valley have been kept in protection at a bus stand, fruit Mandi and District Collector's office in Shopian by the administration.
"It is obvious that the shutdown is fizzling out, so militants are resorting to other tactics," Farooq Khan, advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor told IANS. "Any good thing we do, Pakistan will make desperate attempts to counter it."
He said for the fruit growers the fruit are like their children and such acts won't be tolerated. "Apple has been plucked from the fields and the process will continue," he said. "The area is already secured. Security will be beefed up more to ensure protection of people linked with fruit trade."
The police have put up posters of militants who it believes are involved in the recent killing of the non-locals in the valley. Munir Khan, Additional Director General, Law and Order, said the killing of the non-locals look like a pattern to disturb and aggravate the situation.