Another Sarpanch Gunned Down In South Kashmir

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3 Panchayat Members Slain In 9 Days

Srinagar- In a second killing of a Panchayat member in the last two days, unidentified militants on Friday shot dead a Sarpanch in Adoora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

According to officials, unknown militants fired upon the Sarpanch Shabir Ahmad Mir from a close range near his home in Adoora village on Friday evening. Mir, who collapsed on the ground after receiving gunshots, was removed to the district hospital Kulgam for treatment.

However, the doctors there declared him dead.

“He had bullet injuries in abdomen and was brought dead to the hospital,” Medical Superintendent of the hospital Dr Muzaffar said.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said Mir had been provided accommodation at a secured hotel here but he went home without informing the police.

"Deceased #Sarpanch Shri Shabir Ahmed Mir was given accommodation in a #secured hotel in #Srinagar. He had left hotel and reached his home without informing police. All PPs (police protectees) are #advised to kindly follow SOPs," he said in a tweet.

Mir is the third Panchayat member to be killed by militants in the last 9 days.

Earlier on Wednesday, militants shot dead a Sarpanch Sameer Ahmad Bhat after barging into his house in Khonmoh area of the Srinagar outskirts.

Prior to that, Mohammad Yaqoob Dar, a Panch from Sundoo village of Kulgam district was shot dead by militants on March 2.

The killing drew condemnation from Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and political leaders and parties.

"I strongly condemn the despicable terror attack on Sarpanch Shabir Ahmad Mir in Kulgam. Our police & security forces are determined to eliminate terror ecosystem. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family. In this hour of grief, J&K admin stands in solidarity with family members," the LG wrote on Twitter.

National Conference (NC) vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed shock at Mir's killing.

"Shocked by the targeted killing of Sarpanch Shabir Ahmed Mir. Political workers get killed, we offer our condolences, life goes on and then the same thing happens again. There is a mind-numbing pattern to these killings & our reactions. Sadly nothing changes," Abdullah tweeted.

"I can only offer my condolences to Shabir's family & my prayers that he finds place in Jannat. I wish his death was the last one we would see but sadly that will not be," he added.

On Mir being housed in a secure hotel, Abdullah said, "What does it say about the security situation or the effectiveness of this much bragged about third tier of government that Shabir had to be housed in a secure hotel all the way in Srinagar?"

The NC termed the attack on Mir "barbaric".

"Deeply saddened & shocked by the barbaric attack on Sarpanch Shabir Ah Mir in Audura, Kulgam in which he lost his life. We condemn in the most vigorous way this cowardly attack & express our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. May Allah grant him a place in Jannat," the party said on Twitter.

Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone tweeted, "Strongly condemn the killing of a sarpanch in Kulgam. May the killers rot in Hell."

The Peoples Conference said it is worrisome that public representatives are continuously being targeted to spread fear.

The BJP's Jammu and Kashmir spokesperson Altaf Thakur said the attack on Mir was an act of "cowardice".

"It is an attack on democracy and such attacks won't be tolerated," he said.

Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari said, "Extremely saddened by this dastardly, inhumane attack on a Sarpanch in Kulgam. I unequivocally condemn this terror attack on a grassroots political worker. This is a second attack on a Panchayat representative in last two days in the Valley."

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