Popular eatery Krishna Dhaba owner's son shot in Srinagar, condition stable

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Srinagar, Feb 17 (PTI) The son of the owner of popular food joint Krishna Dhaba, located in a high-security area of the city, was shot at by terrorists from a close range and critically wounded on Wednesday evening, police said.

The victim, Akash Mehra, was immediately rushed to SMHS Hospital where his condition was stated to be stable, they said, adding that the doctors were still monitoring his condition.

According to officials, banned terror outfit Muslim Janbaz Force has claimed responsibility for the attack, which drew strong condemnation from political leaders.

The eatery, which is famous for serving vegetarian food, 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.

The police are looking at the CCTV footage after some eyewitnesses claimed the terrorists ran away.

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 envoys are putting up in a hotel barely two kilometres from the attack site.

Political leaders took to Twitter to express anguish over the incident.

'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 in a city hospital makes a complete and speedy recovery,' National Conference vice-president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said she was 'deeply saddened by the attack on Krishna Dhaba at Sonawar in Srinagar. (I) Extend my sympathies to the injured and his family. Violence is never the answer'.

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.' During a private visit of the first batch of envoys to the union territory in October 2019, terrorists had shot dead five migrant labourers hailing from West Bengal in Shopian.

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. PTI MIJ SKL DIV DIV