A day after a circus assistant was shot dead by terrorists, the amusement park in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag has shut down. The park is gripped by haunting silence.
A circus festival in the park that was going on for last one month has ended with the targeted killing of one of its employee.
The joy and laughter that filled the amusement park is replaced by an eerie calm. The circus employee Deepak Kumar was shot dead outside the park on Monday evening.
This is the first targeted attack on migrant workers in Kashmir this year. Last year a number of migrant labourers were killed and injured in targeted attacks by terrorists. Four Kashmiri pandits were also killed in targeted attacks in 2022.
A massive counter-terrorist offensive by police and other security agencies led to encounter killing of most of the suspected terrorists accused of targeted attacks.
Deepak belonged to an extremely poor family in Udhampur near Jammu. The victim, who was the sole earning member of the family, lived in mud hut. He’s survived by two kids, wife and an ailing father and a visually impaired brother.
Managers of the circus say they had packed up a day ago but due to heavy rain they could not leave and were stuck in the park.
On Monday evening, Deepak ventured out of the amusement park to buy some food from the nearby market place.
At 8:30 pm, gun shots were heard. Kumar was hit by multiple bullets. He was shifted to hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
The circus performers – mostly migrant workers- who enthralled people for one month in Anantnag were gripped by fear and panic.
It was a long traumatising night for them even as security around park was intensified.
Over the last one month, amusement park was buzzing with host of activities with colourful stalls and game centers.
The targeted attack has suddenly changed everything. Over two dozen stalls set up in the park were suddenly shut and abandoned today.
Deepak Kumar was working as logistical support assistant for the circus for last four years. He earned Rs 10,000 per month.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family, say officials.