Unidentified militants in Jammu and Kashmir shot dead a block development council chairperson in Budgam district on Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir Police said. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment where he was declared brought dead.
Bhupinder Singh was shot around 7.45 pm at his native village in Dalwach Khag. Although Singh is a resident of Aloochi Bagh in Srinagar, he had travelled to Khag earlier in the day.
The police said two personal security officers were deputed with Singh, but he decided to leave them behind and travel on his own. Singh did not provide any information about his visit to the police either, they said.
The police added that a case was registered under relevant sections and investigation was underway to understand the full circumstances of the crime. The area where the attack took place was cordoned off and a search operation is underway, they said.
Politicians in the Valley condemned the incident.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah offered his condolences. “Very sorry to hear about the assassination of BDC councillor Bhupinder Singh,” he tweeted. “Mainstream grass root political workers are easy targets for militants and unfortunately in recent years the threat to them has only increased. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Peoples Conference Chairperson Sajad Lone said “violence will get us nowhere”, according to The Tribune.
On August 6, Bharatiya Janata Party sarpanch Sajjad Ahmad Khanday was allegedly shot dead by suspected militants in Qazigund area of Kulgam. Khanday was the BJP’s district vice president for Kulgam. His killing took place a day after the first anniversary of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
On August 5, 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”.
In July, 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.