Suspected militants on Sunday shot at a BJP worker in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
Abdul Hamid Najar, a resident of Mohiendpora area of Budgam in central Kashmir was out for a morning walk when militants fired upon him. Najar, a BJP worker, was shifted to a hospital and further details on his condition were awaited, a policial official said.
Earlier this week, suspected militants shot a sarpanch in south Kashmir’s Qazigund. Sajad Ahmad Khanday, who was associated with the BJP, was killed outside his house at Vessu in Kulgam, becoming the third sarpanch in South Kashmir to succumb to militant attacks since November last year.
On the eve of the first anniversary of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370, a sarpanch was critically injured in a militant attack in Kulgam district. According to police, militants barged into the house of sarpanch Arif Ahmad, in Akhran village of Kulgam district, on Tuesday evening and opened fire from close range. At least six BJP members in south Kashmir have publicly announced their resignation from the party since the attack on Ahmad.
The attacks come amidst the state administration and Centre projecting the panchs and sarpanchs as the new and emerging leaders of Kashmir, and as symbols of the Valley’s acceptance of democracy. The elections to panchayati raj institutions and urban local bodies had been held in October and December 2018, with the second-tier polls being conducted in October last year amidst trying circumstances.
In June this year, a Congress sarpanch, Ajay Pandita, had been shot by militants in his native Larkipora village in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. In November last year, just a month after the elections, a sarpanch had been killed as militants had struck officials on tour as part of the government’s ‘Back to Village’ programme, at Hakoora village in South Kashmir.
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