Another BJP leader shot dead in Kashmir Valley: a Woman wounded.
Rakesh Pandita, who was the chairman of the Tral Municipal Committee, stayed in a government accommodation under security in Srinagar due to the threat from militants and had been assigned two Personal Security Officers (PSO). Police said Pandita had left his security officers behind on his visit to Tral, a militant stronghold, and his hometown.
Police said three unidentified terrorists opened fire on Pandita and killed him on the spot. The injured woman was the daughter of a friend he had gone to visit. “He succumbed to the injuries while the woman is seriously injured,” a police statement said.
It is the third murder of a councilor in Kashmir this year. On March 30, militants broke into the Sopore City Council office and killed two councilors, also from the BJP, and a policeman.
Police, army, and paramilitary forces have cordoned off the area and are searching for the attackers.
The BJP said that the assassinated councilor, a pundit from Kashmir, was the party’s district secretary for Tral. “It was a barbarian attack. Killing unarmed people is not bravery and the police must locate the culprits and punish them, “said party spokesman Altaf Thakur, adding:” Such attacks will not prevent BJP leaders from serving the people. ”
Condemning the attack, Lt. Gen. Manoj Sinha tweeted: “Terrorists will never succeed in their nefarious designs, and those responsible for such heinous acts will be brought to justice.”
Other parties also condemned the murder. “These acts of senseless violence have only brought misery to J&K,” published the former chief minister and president of the PDP, Mehbooba Mufti, offering her condolences to Pandita’s family.
People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone tweeted: “This gun is a curse. Just reflect. From the day this threat reached Kashmir. What have we seen? In short, the total disempowerment of Kashmir. Dear gunmen. Can you go back to where you come from? We have had enough. ”
Elections for municipal councilors were held in October 2018, immediately after J&K was brought under the then governor’s government. The two main political parties, the National Conference and the PPD, had boycotted the polls.
Militants have also targeted elected panchs and sarpanchs, especially in south Kashmir.