Unidentified militants shot a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) sarpanch dead in South Kashmir’s Awantipore area, days before the Anantnag parliamentary constituency goes to polls in its second phase of the elections.
The police said the militants reached Gulzarpora village late on Thursday night and forced a villager to call the sarpanch, Mohammad Amin Pandit, out of his house. When the sarpanch came out they shot him and fled.
The sarpanch’s family along with a few villagers then took him to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. A senior police officer in Awantipore said the police were investigating how many militants were involved.
This is the second attack on a politician since campaigning first began for the six Lok Sabha seats in Jammu & Kashmir. Last week two militants attacked the house of a National Conference (NC) youth leader in Khrew village, killing two constables.
The incidents have generated a war of words between the NC and the PDP in south Kashmir, both accusing each other for the attacks.
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said NC president Farooq Abdullah was responsible for the death of the sarpanch.
“A day before the killing of sarpanch Farooq Abdullah had said that if he had resources, he would carry hundreds of attacks on PDP leaders. This needed to be investigated by the Election Commission,’’ she said.
After the attack on their youth leader’s house in Khrew village, NC leaders had blamed the PDP.
Farooq Abdullah had said, “Definitely, those people who are going to lose will use any weapon to demoralise us…”
Meanwhile, the Amnesty International has condemned the killing of the sarpanch.