Injured Worker Dies, Attacks Trigger Spate of BJP Resignations

BJP workers at a function in Srinagar-File photo

Srinagar- A BJP worker, who was shot at by suspected militants in Budgam district of central Kashmir, succumbed to injuries at a hospital here on Monday, police said.

Abdul Hamid Najar, a resident of Mohiendpora Ompora area of Budgam, was shot at and critically injured by militants in his native village on Sunday, the official said.

He succumbed to injuries early Monday.

Najar is the fourth BJP worker or office bearer targeted by militants in the last one month.

BJP’s district president for Bandipora, Waseem Bari, his father and brother were shot dead by militants last month.

A BJP panch was shot at and injured on August 4, while another sarpanch from the party was shot dead two days later in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has strongly condemned the killing of BJP panch and said that the “heinous act” was an attempt to spread fear and there can be no justification for such attacks.

“The society does not have any space for perpetrators of violence and those involved in this cowardly act shall be brought to justice,” he added.

Grenade Attack On BJP Panch’s House

Militants on Monday night hurled a grenade towards the residence of a BJP panchayat member in Pulwama in Kashmir, the latest in a string of attacks targeting workers and leaders of the party in the Valley.

There were no casualties in the explosion, police said.

"Terrorists lobbed a grenade on the house of Bhupinder Singh in Tral town on Monday night," a police official said.

The grenade exploded outside the house of Singh, who is a BJP worker and a panch, the official said adding there was no damage caused by the blast.

Militants have stepped up attacks on BJP workers in Kashmir valley since last month.

The latest attack came on a day BJP worker Abdul Hamid Najar, who was shot at by militants in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, succumbed to injuries at a hospital.

Najar was the fourth BJP worker or office bearer targeted by militants in the last one month.

Resignation Spree in BJP

Nearly a dozen BJP workers in Kashmir have resigned from the party following recent attacks on village-level leaders by militants, which prompted the party to suggest hostel-type secure accommodation for its members and their families in each district in the Valley.

Worries have escalated after Abdul Hamid Najar, BJP's OBC morcha' district president from Budgam, died at a hospital early on Monday, a day after he was shot in his village.

Admitting that several party workers, most of them lower-rung activists, have resigned over the last few days following the recent attacks on BJP panchayat members and sarpanches, a BJP leader said some were from Budgam district in central Kashmir.

Letters and videos of several BJP workers announcing their resignations or disassociation with the party have been posted on social media platforms.

The BJP leader said three party workers, including two panchayat members and a sarpanch from Kulgam district of south Kashmir, have resigned from the party.

There is one from Handwara, one from Kupwara and one from Sopore as well, he added.

BJP media in-charge Manzoor Bhat dismissed the resignations as of no consequence.

These all are lower rung workers. This will not affect the party, Bhat told PTI.

However, he said the party has taken serious note of the attacks on its workers and has suggested that secure accommodation be created for its members and their families in all districts.

BJP J-K general secretary (organisation) Ashok Koul raised the matter with party's national president J P Nadda and the union territory's party unit now believes that something will be done to secure its members, Bhat said.

We brought the matter to the notice of Nadda and have already sought enhanced security cover for our workers. Some of our workers from places like Kulgam are given accommodation in Srinagar but their family lives in Kulgam so they cannot remain here.

We have therefore sought secure accommodation for our workers in their respective districts. We believe something is being done on this and it will take shape in the coming few days, the BJP's media in-charge said.

Several BJP leaders and workers have been provided security or individual secure housing but most have said they have to take care of their family as well and cannot live without them.

Also, they cannot work by living in another district. So we have suggested that to stop such killings, hostel-type accommodation, like headquarters, be created in every district to accommodate BJP workers and their families, Bhat said.

The hostel-type accommodation can provide a secure environment for hundreds of workers, even from other political parties, he said. Providing individual security to political workers is very difficult, he added.

The attack on Najar followed the killings of Wasim Bari, former BJP district president of Bandipora, and his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Umar Bari last month in North Kashmir.

A BJP panch was shot at and injured on August 4 while a sarpanch from the party was shot dead two days later in south Kashmir's Kulgam district.

Congress Seeks Review Of Security To Politicians

Jammu and Kashmir unit of Congress on Monday termed as highly condemnable the continued militant attacks on political leaders in the valley and sought a review of the security arrangements for them.

The party also urged the new Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to take a holistic view of the situation and change the pattern of "bias and vendetta" in the matter of security.

In an apparent reference to the latest killing of BJP leader Abdul Hamid Najar by militants in Budgam district of Central Kashmir, Pradesh Congress Committee chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma accused the Centre and the Union Territory administration of failure to ensure the security of the political class in the valley.

"The continued attacks on the political leaders is highly condemnable and needs to be stopped to foil the designs of the militants. The New Lt Governor should immediately review the security of the politicians," Sharma said.

He strongly condemned the recent killings and attacks on the political leaders and Panchayati Raj institution members and termed it a matter of serious concern.

"The attacks are part of a nefarious design to create fear amongst the political class in Kashmir and elsewhere," the Congress leader said, expressing sympathy with the families of the victims of the targeted attacks.

He urged the government to ensure fool proof security measures for the political activists in the wake of the increased attacks.

Sharma claimed his party has always demanded appropriate and adequate security for all vulnerable leaders irrespective of their political affiliations depending upon their status, class and vulnerability.

Sharma also claimed that the people at the helm of affairs have favoured a "particular class" and deprived the opposition Congress and some other leaders of adequate security.

"One of the reasons for lack of any political activity, especially in the valley, is either withdrawal or downgrading of the security of the leaders and activists of Congress and other opposition parties," he said.

The Congress leader said during the past one year or so, his party's senior leaders were deliberately deprived of proper security cover as compared to others and security was mostly given on the basis of "likes and dislikes of a few".

"We urged the new Lt Governor to take a holistic view of the situation and change the pattern of bias and vendetta in the matter of security, if you want revival of political activity to help sort out issues of suffering masses," he said.

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