A Panchayat representative and chairman of Block Development Council (BDC) Khag, Bhupinder Singh was shot dead by unidentified militants on Wednesday evening, officials said.
Singh was wounded after an attack and later succumbed to injuries. Sources said Singh, who had two PSOs for personal security, had dropped the security personnel at his Allochi Bagh Srinagar and proceeded towards Khag. Under the government’s ‘Back To Village’ program, Singh was supposed to be present in his area, the sources said.
However, without informing the police he went to his ancestral village where he was fired upon by the militants, officials say. Political leaders of the Valley have condemned the killing.
“Deepest condolences to his family. GOI by intentionally discrediting, humiliating & enfeebling the mainstream has left them in a vulnerable position. How many more lives will it take for them to realize that their policies towards J&K have backfired,” tweeted Iltija Mufti after the killing.
“Very sorry to hear about the assassination of BDC councillor Bhupinder Singh. Mainstream grass root political workers are easy targets for militants & unfortunately in recent years the threat to them has only increased. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
“Condemn the dastardly killing of BDC member. Violence will get us nowhere,” Sajad Lone tweeted.
Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari Wednesday condemned the killing of Bhupinder Singh. In a statement issued here, Bukhari termed the killing as highly unfortunate, inhuman and barbaric. “Such acts of violence can never achieve anything except for bringing more miseries to the people,” Bukhari remarked.
He said the use of guns against innocent civilians since the 1990s have only brought death and destruction to J&K and have further pushed the people to a dead end. Bukhari said the recent spree of killings of Panchayat representatives in Kashmir is a dastardly act by the elements inimical to peace and prosperity of J&K.
“Violence in any of its form and manifestations will beget violence and this vicious cycle needs an end so that the people of J&K who have suffered a lot in the last many decades live in peace and harmony,” Bukhari remarked.
Calling for a thorough review of security cover of political activists in J&K, Bukhari urged the union home minister to intervene into the matter and pass on some concrete orders in this regard.
“Today’s killing in Khag-Budgam has belied the claims of the government. The union minister should intervene into the matter and order a serious review and categorization of political activists who have put their lives at risk in order to keep the democratic process alive in J&K,” he added.
Earlier in July a BJP leader was killed in north Kashmir. On the evening of July 8, BJP leader Sheikh Waseem Bari, his father, Bashir Ahmad, and his brother, Umer Sultan, were killed outside their residence in north Kashmir's Bandipora area.
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