SRINAGAR: A 35-year-old
was gunned down by
in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday afternoon.
Official sources said the victim, Ajay Pandita of Dooru, was fired upon by unidentified gunmen near Lokbawan Larkipora area. He was rushed to GMC Anantnag where doctors declared him brought dead, confirmed the facility’s medical superintendent Dr Majeed Mehrab.
J&K Congress chief GA Mir said Pandita had been fearing for his safety from quite some time and had even informed the administration seeking protection, but no action was taken which eventually led to his killing. Later in the day, JKPCC issued a statement condemning the “mindless and shameful act” and rued the loss to the party brought about the sarpanch’s death. Congress has demanded a judicial inquiry into the murder and exemplary punishment for the culprits, besides an adequate security cover for panchs, sarpanchs, BDC chairpersons and other functionaries.
BJP condoled Pandita’s death, terming it as a desperate attempt by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists to disrupt the peace prevailing in the Union Territory because of the successful anti-terror operations by security forces. J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina said such cowardly actions by terrorists cannot derail the ongoing peace process. Crediting Pandita for strengthening democracy at the grassroots level, Raina added that the party stands with the slain sarpanch’s family and the perpetrators of the attack will not be spared.
(with inputs from Sanjay Khajuria in Jammu)