Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party sarpanch Sajjad Ahmad Khanday was allegedly shot dead by suspected militants in Qazigund area of Kulgam on Thursday, The Indian Express reported. This is the second attack on a sarpanch in Qazigund in less than two days.
Khanday was the BJP’s district vice president for Kulgam, according to NDTV.
The suspected militants opened fire on him from close range outside his residence in Qazigund. He was taken to hospital but died on the way. “Yes, he was brought dead to hospital,” Medical Superintendent Government Medical College Anantnag Mohammad Iqbal told The Indian Express.
This came a day after the first anniversary of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
On Tuesday, Arif Ahmad, another sarpanch associated to the Bharatiya Janata Party in Kulgam, was allegedly shot by suspected militants. The police said the incident occurred in Akhran village of the district when the militants barged into his house and opened fire from close range. Party spokesperson Altaf Thakur had called it a “barbaric attack”.
The attacks on village leaders also come in the run-up to a high-profile function of the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institution and Urban Local Bodies in Srinagar scheduled for August 10.
Last month, former BJP district president Waseem Bari, his father and brother were killed inside their shop after militants fired on them from close range. Ten policemen who were tasked with protecting the leader were arrested in connection with the murder. In June, Congress sarpanch Ajay Kumar Pandita was killed outside his house in Anantnag district.