Nine BJP workers killed in four months in Kashmir

Nine BJP workers killed in four months in Kashmir

The security agencies fear that more lives could be lost in the coming months as the region goes into election mode

The killing of three BJP workers in Qazigund belt of Kulgam district in south Kashmir on Thursday has thrown new challenges to the security agencies. Credit: Reuters Photo

Nine Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and workers from Kashmir have been killed by militants between July and October this year.

The security agencies fear that more lives could be lost in the coming months as the region goes into election mode for holding polls to newly-formed District Development Councils and vacant panchayat seats.

With two main regional parties – National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – likely to boycott the upcoming polls like they did in 2018 when panchayat and municipal polls were held, “the BJP workers would become main targets of the militants.”

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“Hundreds of BJP workers have been already shifted to secured accommodations while dozens of others have been provided security. But despite that militants are able to target the BJP workers as it is impossible to stop these attacks in remote corners of the Valley,” a senior police officer told DH.

Immediately after taking over the reins of the Union Territory in August, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had said the administration needs to be cautious while framing the future security strategy for the panchayat representatives and political workers.

The killing of three BJP workers in Qazigund belt of Kulgam district in south Kashmir on Thursday has thrown new challenges to the security agencies. According to the police, the trio was killed by Lashkar-e-Toiba and The Resistance Front (TRF) militants.

Incidentally, the three BJP workers killed on Thursday were reportedly lone sons and breadwinners of their families. Before this, six more workers of the BJP were killed while one was injured in less than four months in the Valley.

Also read — Militants shoot dead three BJP workers in Kashmir

On September 23, Block Development Council (BDC) chairman Khag in Budgam, Bhupinder Singh, affiliated with the BJP was killed by militants. On August 9, BJP District President, Abdul Hamid Najar was killed when he was doing morning walk in Ompora, Budgam. Before that on August 6, BJP Sarpanch Sajad Ahmad Khanday was shot dead by militants near his residence at Vessu, Qazigund.

On July 8, three members of a family including BJP State executive Committee member Sheikh Waseem Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Sheikh Umar, who were also office bearers, were killed by militants at their residence in north Kashmir’s Bandipora. Bari family was guarded by ten policemen when the incident took place.

“We have inputs that the militants have directions from Pakistan to target BJP workers. There is a likelihood that in coming weeks more attacks will happen,” the police officer warned.