SRINAGAR Unknown gunmen on Friday shot dead two National Conference workers and injured an office bearer by firing at them from close range in the old city, three days ahead of polling for first phase of elections for urban local bodies in Kashmir.
The gunmen fired at the trio at Karfali Mohalla, resulting in injuries to all three, a police official said.
The injured persons were rushed to nearby SMHS Hospital but two of them succumbed, the official said.
The deceased have been identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Wani and Nazir Ahmad Bhat. While both were affiliated to the National Conference, Bhat was working as public relations officer of MLA Habbakadal, Shameema Firdous.
The injured person has been identified as Shakeel Ahmad Ganaie, a Halqa president for National Conference.
‘Government forces soon launched an operation to track down militants’, the official said.
The killings come just three days ahead of polling for first phase of elections to urban local bodies in the state.
Shameema Firdous, who is also NCs Womens party Wing President, was hospitalized after the killing of her two party colleagues. She went into a trauma immediately after hearing about the killing of her two close party associates and was hospitalized. She is stable now, reads the statement.
Later Omar Abdullah along with other party leaders visited the hospital to enquire about her health.
Meanwhile National Conference has clarified that the assassinated National Conference workers had no involvement in the ongoing ULB polls. All reports attributing to them as candidates in the ongoing ULB polls are false and are being circulated with a malicious intent, party spokesperson said.
National Conference and PDP have boycotted the polls on the grounds that state’s special status under Article 35-A of the Constitution is under threat due to the legal challenge to this provision in the Supreme Court.
NC demands high-level probe; There seems to be some sort of design into killings
There seems to be some sort of a design into the killings of our party men today and its upto the investigating agencies to identify the killers and bring them to justice, National Conference said on Friday as it condemned cowardly, barbaric killing of its two party functionaries Mushtaq Ahmad Wani and Nazir Ahmad Bhat here. They also demanded high level probe into the killings.
In a statement, party President Dr. Farooq Abdullah denounced the act as heinous and despicable. Expressing his grief over the incident Dr Farooq said, People who have committed this dastardly act have no humanity. I empathize with the bereaved families and hope they overcome this trauma that has shattered their lives forever. The NC President prayed for peace to the departed souls.
Farooq expressed anguish and said that the party had already decided not to participate in the ongoing ULB and Panchayat polls and that such attack on NC workers must be thoroughly probed. We demand high level, time bound, impartial probe into the incident. The guilty must not be spared, he said.
Farooq said in this hour of grief party stands with the kith and kin of the deceased. We have lost many of our functionaries since the onset of militancy, the life and history of national conference is replete with many such sacrifices, he said adding, The word sacrifice is synonymous with National Conference, and we wont deter from the path that we had embarked upon in 1931.
Party vice president Omar Abdullah while condemning the brutal attack said, I am shocked beyond words; it is an act of terrorism and a ploy to stifle our voice.
Omar said that the appalling security situation has gone out of the hands of governors administration. The incumbent administration had already removed security from some of our functionaries, all this needs to be unearthed and brought before people. There seems to be some sort of a design into the killings of our party men today and its upto the investigating agencies to identify the killers and bring them to justice. The killings are taking place in broad day light and that too in an urban heart. We expect that the governor moves its men and machinery to ensure justice is done swiftly.
Situation is becoming appalling day by day and that the administration is vacillating and perplexed about the situation, he said.
Praying for the speedy recovery of Shakeel Ahmad Zangoo, another party functionary who got injured in the attack, Omar said, I pray for his early and complete recovery.
He also visited Police Control Room Srinagar where the bodies of Mushtaq Ahmad Wani and Nazir Ahmad Bhat were kept and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families there. He was accompanied by party General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, North Zone President Mohammad Akbar Lone and Political Advisor to VP Tanvir Sadiq.
Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir Friday condemned the killing of two National Conference (NC) workers in a militant attack here, saying targeting political workers who “champion the cause of the masses” was “downright appalling”.
Two NC workers were killed and an office bearer was injured after terrorists fired at them in the Karfali area of the city Friday.
“Attack on political workers who champion the cause of common masses is downright appalling & symptomatic of alien elements misrepresenting the ethos of Kashmir. We strongly condemn the brutal murder of @JKNC_ workers. Our hearts go out to their bereaved families,” the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on its official Twitter handle.
PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killing.
“Pained to hear about the killing of two NC workers. My heart goes out to their families & children. Cannot possibly imagine what they must be going through,” she tweeted.
The NC termed the killing of two of its workers “barbaric”.
“Party President Dr. Farooq Abdulah, Vice President Mr. Omar Abdullah expressed profound grief over the barbaric killing of two party workers Nazir Ah Bhat and Mushtaq Ah Wani,” the party said on Twitter.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also condemned the killing of the two National Conference workers.
“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack on political workers and killing of two workers of NC in Srinagar,” Spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir BJP, Priya Sethi said.
Expressing her condolences, she said her heart goes out to the bereaved families.
The Congress too condemned the killings and described the incident as “shocking” and “highly painful”.
The party also blamed the Central government for “miserably failing” to ensure congenial atmosphere in the valley which has lead to an “extremely volatile” situation.
The loss of lives cannot be replaced by anything, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) spokesperson said in a statement conveying “deepest condolences” to the aggrieved families.
Both State and the Centre cannot escape the responsibility of the killings in the valley, the spokesperson said, adding that effective measures must be taken to ensure safety of political activists and common people as well.
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