A sarpanch in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir was shot dead on Friday, officials said.
Terrorists fired upon the independent sarpanch, Shabir Ahmad Mir near his residence in Adoura in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district at about 8:50 pm, said officials to reporters. Mir was rushed to a nearby hospital but did not survive the bullet injuries.
In a statement tweeted by Kashmir Police, Kashmir inspector general of police Vijay Kumar said the sarpanch was given accommodation at a secured hotel in Srinagar. But he left home without informing police personnel. “All PPs (protected persons) are advised to kindly follow SOPs (standard operating procedures,” Kumar said.
Police have registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC, and an investigation is in progress. The area where the incident took place has been cordoned off and a search is ongoing.
Repeat Killing Has Provoked Sharp Condemnation from J&K Leaders
This is the third killing of a local elected representative by militants in Jammu and Kashmir this month.
On 9 March, militants fired at Sameer Ahmad Bhat, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) sarpanch at his home in Khonmoh area outside of Srinagar. On 2 March, an independent panchayat member, Mohammad Yaqub Dar, was shot dead in the Srandoo area of Kulgam.
The repeat killing of panchayat members has provoked sharp condemnation from Jammu and Kashmir’s political parties.
National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said he was shocked by the targeted killing.
"Political workers get killed, we offer our condolences, life goes on and then the same thing happens again. There is a mind-numbing pattern to these killings & our reactions. Sadly nothing changes," his tweet read. He offered condolences to Shabir’s family and hoped his death would be the last one.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jammu and Kashmir unit termed the killing as a "barbaric and cowardice act."
“Strongly condemn yet another barbaric and cowardice act wherein another public representative and the grassroots worker Shabir Ahmed Mir was killed at Odoura, in Kulgam district of South Kashmir. It’s an attack on democracy and such attacks won’t be tolerated,” Altaf Thakur, BJP spokesman, said. Shabir Ahmad Mir was initially identified as a member of the BJP but this was denied by the party.
Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari termed it a "dastardly, inhumane attack" and "unequivocally condemned this terror attack on a grassroots political worker."