BJP Sarpanch, Wife Shot Dead In Anantnag

Representational Photo

IGP Says Lashkar Behind Killings, PSO Suspended For Absence

Srinagar: Unidentified militants on Monday shot dead a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sarpanch and his wife in broad daylight in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Around 4:00pm Monday, unidentified pistol-borne militants barged inside the rented accommodation of BJP Sarpanch Ghulam Rasool Dar at Lal Chowk area of Anantnag town and fired indiscriminately, a police spokesperson said. In the incident, he said, BJP Sarpanch and his Panch wife Jawhara Begum received critical gunshot injuries. The elderly couple were removed to the hospital where doctors declared them brought dead.

A resident of Redwani area of Kulgam, Dar was also district president of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha from the south Kashmir district. He had unsuccessfully contested the last year’s District Development Council elections.

“Although the deceased was provided a secured accommodation at Snow cap hotel Kulgam and both stayed there for a short period but they had been continuously insisting to stay at their house at Anantnag Town and also submitted an undertaking in this regard,” the police spokesperson said.

“On their request they were allowed to stay at said house in Anantnag. He was also provided with one PSO who however was found absent from duty at the time of incident. The said PSO has been placed under suspension,” he added.

Police, he said, has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law.

IGP Kashmir said that two bike borne “terrorists” of LeT outfit were involved in this “barbaric terror” incident.

“Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime. Area has been cordoned and search in the area is going on,” the police spokesperson added.

Pertinently, Dar became the fourth BJP leader to be targeted by the militant this year alone.

While two BJP councilors were killed in a daring attack on the Municipal Council in Sopore area of Baramulla district in March this year, Rakesh Pandita, the BJP councilor from Tral in Pulwama district was shot dead on June 2 this year.

Militants have also targeted civilians, policemen and an off-duty army jawans during the year. While nine civilians have been killed by militants, six police personnel and an army man also lost their lives in similar attacks.

Last year also, militants targeted BJP workers killing at least six of them.

LG Assures Prompt Action

Leaders across the political spectrum condemned the killing of a BJP sarpanch and his wife in Anantnag, with the saffron party asserting their sacrifices will not be allowed to go waste, while Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said the perpetrators will be brought to justice soon.

"I strongly condemn the brutal terrorist attack on the Sarpanch GH Rasool Dar and his wife Jawhara Banoo of Redwani Bala, Kulgam. This is an act of cowardice & perpetrators of violence will be brought to justice very soon. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family in this time of grief," the LG said on his official Twitter handle.

Dar was also the district president of the BJP's Kisan Morcha for Kulgam and was presently living in a rented accommodation in Anantnag.

"Once again the coward Pakistani-sponsored terrorists have bled Kashmir by killing our Kisan Morcha leader and his wife. Both of them were active members of the BJP and enthusiastically took part in functions to mark the second anniversary of the revocation of Article 370 on August 5 and raised the tricolour," J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina said.

"They have sacrificed their lives for the nation and we will not allow their sacrifice to go waste."

The BJP's J-K spokesman Altaf Thakur also condemned the killing, terming it "barbaric and cowardly".

National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah said the deceased join a long list of mainstream politicians killed for their political beliefs.

"I unequivocally condemn the assassination of Ghulam Rasool Dar & his wife. They join a long list of mainstream politicians killed for their political beliefs. My condolences to his family & colleagues. May Allah grant the departed place in Jannat," he wrote on Twitter.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said she felt sorry to hear the news of the killing.

"My condolences to their families & loved ones," she tweeted.

Peoples Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Lone also strongly condemned the killing.

"Yet again a Kashmiri family is a victim of violence. Yet again, more addition to the community of orphans and hapless victims of gun. May the killers rot in hell," he said.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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