BJP leader and Municipal Councillor Rakesh Pandit was on Wednesday, 2 June, evening shot by three terrorists outside his friend’s house in Tral of South Kashmir, reports ANI.
Pandit’s friend’s daughter, who was accompanying the councillor, was also seriously injured in the assault, Jammu and Kashmir police informed. She is in critical condition at a hospital in Srinagar.
Pandit was shifted to hospital but succumbed to his injuries, Kashmir Inspector-General Vijay Kumar told ANI.
The area in Tral has been cordoned off and a search is underway, he added.
According to Kumar, Pandit had been provided with two PSOs as well as a secure hotel accommodation in Srinagar, but had gone to Tral by himself.
‘Senseless Violent Acts’: LG, Mufti Send Condolences
Speaking on the incident, the office of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha put out a statement condemning the attack, saying, “Terrorists will never succeed in their nefarious designs, and those responsible for such heinous acts shall be brought to justice.”
Former Chief Minister and present President of the People’s Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, too, offered her condolences on Twitter and said, “These senseless acts of violence have brought only misery to Jammu and Kashmir.”
“This gun is a curse,” wrote President of People’s Conference Sajad Lone, adding, “Since the day this menace came into Kashmir. What have we seen. In a nutshell total disempowerment of the Kashmiri.(sic)”
Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina referred to the incident as “murder of humanity and Kashmiriyat” while Union minister Jitendra Singh expressed shock.
Raina said, “The martyrdom of BJP worker Rakesh Pandit will not go in vain. The terrorists causing bloodbath in Kashmir Valley will be eliminated. It is the murder of humanity and Kashmiriyat,” ANI reported.
“Deeply shocked by the fatal terror attack on Municipal Councillor of Tral, Pulwama, Rakesh Pandit. An extremely dastardly and inhuman act by those who do not want grassroots democracy to gain ground in Kashmir Valley! My deep condolences to the family,” said Singh, ANI quoted.
The attack marked the third killing of a councillor in Kashmir in 2021. On 30 March, militants had stormed the office of the Sopore Municipal Council and murdered two BJP councillors and a policeman.
(With inputs from ANI.)
(This is a developing story. It will be updated with details.)