Missing BJP Panch’s Body Found In Shopian Orchard


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Srinagar: Police on Friday recovered body of a missing BJP affiliated Panch from south Kashmir’s Shopian district, days after an unverified audio clip purportedly released by militants claimed to have killed the panchayat member for “anti-movement” activities”

The body of the Panch Nisar Ahmad Bhat of Khanmoh, who went missing on August 19, was found in an orchard in Dangam village of Shopian by locals on Friday morning, officials said. The locals immediately informed the police about the body that was reportedly half-buried.

Bhat had been booked under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) in 1995. He had 12 cases registered to his name.

On Tuesday, an unverified audio clip purportedly released by militants had claimed that Bhat was killed for his anti-movement activities. The speaker in the 2.56 minute long audio had also claimed that Bhat has been buried at an unidentified place due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been after him for a long time. Finally, we got him,” the speaker says in the audio.

Quoting a police official, a PTI report said that the body was removed to hospital for legal formalities.

He said the deceased man was identified as Nisar Ahmad Bhat (45), a panch affiliated with the BJP, who was reported missing since August 19 by his family at Panthachowk in the city.

Police suspect that Bhat was kidnapped by militants and later killed in Shopian district.

“We are investigating all possible angles,” the official added.

Militants have stepped up attacks on BJP workers, including panchs and sarpanchs, killing at least five people affiliated with the party. A Congress sarpanch was also killed in south Kashmir. (With PTI inputs)


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