Police Issues Advisory After BJP Leader’s Killing

IGP Vijay Kumar | KO File Photo

Protected Persons Asked To Follow SOPs, Not To Risk Lives

Ajaz Ali

Srinagar: A day after suspected militants shot dead a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in south Kashmir’s Tral town, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday issued an advisory warning protected persons not to venture out of their secure accommodations without personal security guards.

“No #protectee should go anywhere without PSOs. Visits are allowed only after ground assessment of local #threat is done. Request is to all protectees not to #violate SOPs and risk their lives unnecessarily” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said in a tweet.

Kumar’s Tweet came in the backdrop of the killing of a BJP councillor Rakesh Pandita in Tral Payeen area on Wednesday night.

Pandita, as per party spokesperson was a councillor from Tral Bala-C and was visiting his friend at Tral Payeen where suspected militants fired upon him. A woman identified as Asifa Mushtaq was also injured in the surprise attack.

In a statement issued after Pandita’s assassination, police had said that three unidentified militants had fired upon him when he was visiting his friend in Tral Payeen area.

“It is pertinent to mention that the deceased was a protected person and two PSOs were deployed for his security and secured accommodation was also provided to him at Srinagar. However, at the time of incident he was without any security as he defied the SOPs and went to his native village without PSOs,” the police spokesperson had said.

The killing of Pandita comes over two months after militants attacked Sopore Municipal Council on March 29 and killed two BJP councillors- Reyaz Ahmad Peer and Shamas Din, besides a policeman identified as Shafqat Nazir.

Last year on June 8, another Kashmiri Pandit and a Congress Sarpanch Ajay Pandita was shot dead by suspected militants in Larkipora of Anantnag district.

A month later on July 8, militants carried out an audacious attack in Bandipora killing BJP leader Wasim Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Umer Bashir at their shop, adjacent to their house which is in close vicinity to a police station.

However, the militants intensified attacks on BJP leaders and workers in the first week of August.

In three attacks a BJP Sarpanch Sajjad Khanday and party worker Hamid Jamal Najar were killed and another Sarpanch Arif Ahmad Shah was injured.

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