Krishna Dhaba attack: A week on, Akash Mehra critical; shifted to ventilator

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A week after the shooting at a famed Srinagar eatery, the 22-year-old youth who was shot at is critical and has been shifted on a ventilator bed.

Akash Mehra, son of the owner of Krishna Dhaba, was shifted to the ventilator nearly 48 hours ago at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital in the city. Talking to The Kashmir Walla, Nazir Choudary, medical superintendent at the hospital, said, “Right now, he is not out of danger. We have acquainted [the family] with the specialised doctors [treating Mehra] for all the information.”

Mehra was shot at by the militants on 17 February’s evening, when he was sitting at the counter of the eatery that is popular among tourists visiting Srinagar. He had suffered two bullet wounds, Choudhary added: “one bullet [went from] neck to chest, and another [went from] abdomen to chest.” 

The doctor added that both the bullets, which were shot at from a close range, pieced his lungs and exited from the back. In the attack, his “lung suffered damage” and rendered critical health conditions. 

Since the attack, silence has taken over the Sonwar road as Krishna Dhaba remains shuttered. At least three other vegetarian eateries also remain shut, awaiting security clearance from the police, one of the owners told The Kashmir Walla.

Last Friday, Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that “three bike-borne newly recruited militants” had shot Mehra. The trio — two residents of Pampore and another from Pulwama — was arrested by the police a day later.

“A civilian called SP South city that [the] attackers were riding a bike after which we accessed the CCTV footage and followed other inputs,” said Kumar, adding that after the arrests, the police also seized the vehicle and weapon they claimed was used in the attack.

“All three were newly recruited militants and one of them was given pistol training in the forest area of Pahalgam,” the IGP Kashmir said, adding that they were affiliated with “Lashkar-e-Taiba or TRF commander Gazi, who had tasked the trio to strike at Krishna Dhaba where tourist rush is always high and the shop even remains open during hartals”.

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