Srinagar: A Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) sarpanch was shot dead by militants in south Kashmir district of Kulgam on Thursday, official sources said.
They said sarpanch Sajjad Ahmad Khanday, who was also the vice president of Kulgam district, was fired upon by militants from a close range when he was returning his home at Qazigund this morning.
Khanday, who had received five bullets, was immediately rushed to district hospital, Anantnag, where doctors declared him brought dead.
The attack came a day after when BJP leaders and workers celebrated the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A on Wednesday.Security forces have launched a massive hunt to trace the militants responsible for the killing of Khanday.
BJP spokespersons Altaf Thakur confirming the death of Khanday described it as a very unfortunate and heinous crime.We will not be cowed down by such attacks, he said adding BJP leaders and workers will continue to work for the development of the Jammu and Kashmir.
Thakur condemned the killing and said militants were attacking unarmed persons who are working for the downtrodden and poor people of the society. About the security of sarpanch and panchs, BJP spokesman said it was not possible to provide individual security to everyone. However, he said, the majority of people facing threat have been provided security in the valley.
A day before the first anniversary of abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, militants shot at and critically wounded a BJP sarpanch Arif Ahmad at Mir Bazar Kulgam on August 4.
Bukhari condemns killing of BJP sarpanch, says nothing can be achieved by violence
Srinagar: Strongly condemning the killing of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) sarpanch in south Kashmir by militants, president of Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari on Thursday said use of violence will not help achieve anything.
BJP sarpanch, who was also vice-president of Kulgam district of the party Sajjad Ahmad Khanday, was shot dead by militants at Vessu Qazigund this morning.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari observed that violence in any of its manifestations is not going to yield anything for the people except for death and destruction. "Today's cowardly attack on a grassroots level representative has added to the fear psychosis among the Panchayat representatives and other political activists who witnessed three such attacks in the last 10 days," he said while urging the government to take serious cognizance of this incident.
Bukhari said the elements inimical to peace and prosperity in J&K should not be allowed to go scot free and the administration must identify and nab the culprits behind such attacks and book them under stringent laws.
''We have witnessed enough death and devastation and now this cycle of violence should end somewhere so that people of J&K heave a sigh of relief. We cannot afford the loss of another generation,'' he remarked.
The JKAP president said the slain Sarpanch was elected by the people and was working to redress the day-to-day grievances of his electorate. "Killing an unarmed grassroots level social activist is a dastardly act which can never be acceptable to any civilized society," Bukhari said, while expressing solidarity with the bereaved family.
Mr Bukhari also sought a thorough security review for Panchayat representatives and other vulnerable political workers who reside in more violence prone areas in J&K. ''The union Home Ministry should also take a review of the security situation in J&K and take measures to prevent recurrence of such attacks in future,'' he added.(UNI)