Unidentified gunmen shot dead Nazir Ahmed Mir, a 42-year-old man in his native Sopore area of north Kashmir, some 50-kilometers from Srinagar on the evening of December 25.

The gunmen had fired a single shot in his head from point blank range. As per villagers, Mir worked as an operator of a mobile tower installed in his courtyard. He was attacked when he was out to “switch on the tower.”

While his family concluded the traditional mourning period of four days, there has been no formal word of condolence or condemnation from the mainstream parties or the separatist camps who otherwise rarely miss such a chance.

Amid this mysterious silence from all quarters, including the government, police says the deceased was an innocent civilian killed in “militancy related” incident. “He was a normal civilian having no political connections and was killed by militants. But why he was killed, we’re investigating it,” SP Sopore Harmeet Singh told InUth.

It is not the first time in this trouble-torn region that Kashmir remained silent on such killings. The general perception is that political parties react to such incidents only when they find it beneficial, something which doesn’t seem to have clicked this time.

Interestingly even the recently revamped State Human Rights Commission has been silent on it. When InUth contacted such parties, they pleaded silence.

A leader from the ruling PDP says “It doesn’t matter much to issue condemnation statements all the times but our party condemns such killings.”

The Hurriyat Conference, on the other hand, says that “all killings by unidentified gunmen must be condemned as a matter principle.” “Hurriyat’s stand on civilian killings by identified gunmen is clear-cut that we always condemn it because such acts are neither Islamic nor any civilized nation allows it. Even Geelani Sahib ensures condemning such killings,” Hurriyat Media Head advocate Shahid Ul Islam says.

But then why didn’t Hurriyat condemn Mir’s killing? “Frankly speaking, I don’t know how come we missed it.”