Srinagar : Satpal Nischal, a 65-year-old Punjabi jeweler, has become the first victim of controversial land laws that allow outsiders to formally purchase land in Kashmir.
Nischal, who ran a successful business in Srinagar, had been living here for over four decades. Police said the terrorists shot at his shop on Thursday evening. The murder has shocked the business community. Many non-local people shop in the markets of Saraibala and Hari Singh High Street in Srinagar.
65-year-old Srinagar came with his father as a young boy and lived as a tenant in the Saraibala area for 17 years. He worked as a goldsmith in the early years, but made rapid progress, his neighbours and fellow traders said. The family built a house in the posh Indira Nagar area and for the last 25 years, they lived cordially with their Muslim neighbors.
The entire area and the business community have gone into a state of shock due to the sudden incident.
Official sources say that after the repeal of Article 370, they bought a land and a house here long before the new land laws came into force, but this was apparently their decision to take domicile for them and their family members which could have killed him.
Sources said that the family was recently issued domicile certificates, though now land can be obtained in the erstwhile state without domicile.
In its brief statement on Thursday, police said that Nischal was killed by terrorists and the investigation is on. The authorities continue to work to investigate this crime,” police said.
Although family and friends were unwilling to speak, many in Kashmir suspect that the killing took place to control the outsiders and threaten every citizen of the country and refuse the purchase of land.