Woman, 4-year-old son shot dead by VDC member

RAJOURI: In the second incident in less than a week, a Village Defence Committee  (VDC) member shot dead a woman and her 4-year-old son in Budhal area of Rajouri district in Jammu division on Thursday sparking massive anti-government protests.

Reports said that the a VDC member opened fire upon Shamima Akhtar (35) and her 4-year-old son Tawhead after barging inside her house at Samote village Thursday morning.

“In the firing incident, the duo sustained serious bullet wounds”, reports said, adding that the injured were immediately shifted to nearby Sub-district hospital Budhal for treatment.

However, doctors present there pronounced both of them as dead on arrival.

Meanwhile, concerned Station House Officer (SHO) Kuldeep Raj Sharma confirmed the incident and identified the attacker as Mushtaq Ahmad of Mohra Dhaveen village in Budhal area of Rajouri district. 

He said police has seized the weapon of the VDC member while a special police team has been constituted to arrest the absconding accused.

“A case has been registered and the cause of the incident is being ascertained”, the officer said.

Following the killing of mother-son duo, the villagers took to streets and staged massive protests and demanded strict action against the VDC member.

Residents, joined by protesters from surrounding villages, appealed the government to immediately disarm all the VDC members in the district so as to save the innocent lives in future.

“All the VDCs have terrified the locals time to time and are doing things at their will since their creation”, the locals allege.

“Maximum VDCs are illiterates and they are interfering in minor things”. Earlier, on Dec 20, one VDC member shot dead a political activist over ration issue, the locals said.

Pertinently, on December 20, a youth National Conference leader, Ishtyaq Ahmed Choudhary (26) of Kesar Gala was shot dead by VDC member Kewal Kumar Sharma in Potha village of Kalakote Tehsil of Rajouri district.

The VDCs were set up in Jammu and Kashmir in the 1995 by the government and equipped with weapons and wireless sets to counter militants. The government claims the militancy in these areas has been contained but refuses to disband the VDC’s as major alliance partner BJP is opposed to it. 

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