The Block Development Council (BDC) chairman of Khag block in Budgam district was fatally shot near his residence by suspected militants on Wednesday evening, police said.
Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Dalwach Khag, “was evacuated to nearby hospital for treatment where he was declared brought dead”, the police said. They said Singh left for his village without his PSOs and “without any information to the police”. J&K Police stated that around 8 pm, “terrorists had fired upon a BDC chairman in Dalwach area of Khag”.
Lt Gov Manoj Sinha condemned the killing, saying “the heinous act is an attempt to spread fear and vitiate the atmosphere of peace and progress”.
Leaders of mainstream political parties also condemned the killing. “The BJP strongly condemns such barbarism and cowardly act,” BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said. NC vice-president Omar Abdullah tweeted, “Very sorry to hear about the assassination of BDC councillor Bhupinder Singh. Mainstream grassroot political workers are easy targets for militants…”
Wednesday’s incident is the third fatal shooting of a sarpanch in Kashmir this year. Sarpanch Ajay Pandita, affiliated with Congress, was shot in Anantnag in June, while in August, sarpanch Sajad Ahmad Khanday, associated with BJP, was killed in Qazigund.
In July, 113 elected representatives of urban local bodies and panchayati raj institutions in the Valley were provided security by the J&K administration.
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