New Delhi: Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot on Tuesday condemned the killing of a truck driver, who was from his state, a day after he was shot dead by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian, calling the incident ‘deeply saddening.’

Speaking to media, the Rajasthan Deputy CM said, “It was deeply saddening to know about the incident. Keeping politics aside, there is a need for more efforts to improve the situation there.”

The truck driver, identified as Sharief Khan, was shot dead, according to the police, by terrorists from either Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) or Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). He was to drive an apple-laden truck and had come to the orchard to collect the consignment. The orchard owner, who tried to save him, too, was beaten up by the terrorists.

According to police, the incident took place when the deceased and his co-driver were loading apples from an orchard late last night when the terrorists arrived at the spot and shot him dead. They then torched the vehicle and also, unsuccessfully, tried to set the orchard ablaze and beat up the owner when he tried to intervene.

While the victim, who died on the spot, was from Bharatpur, his co-driver, who managed to escape, was from Haryana.

An FIR has been registered and manhunt launched to nab the terrorists, of whom one is said to be a Pakistani national.

The incident took place on a day postpaid mobile connections were restored in the Valley for the first time since August 5, which is when the Centre announced its move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and also announced its bifurcation into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.