Three cops, BJP activist killed by militants in Kashmir

Three policemen, including an officer, and a worker of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) were killed in four separate militancy-related incidents across Kashmir on the day of Bakr Eid on Wednesday.
 
Militants shot dead Mohammad Ashraf Dar, a police sub-inspector after barging inside his residential house at his native Larve village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on late Wednesday evening. 
 
In a separate incident Muhammad Yaqoob, a police constable was fired upon by unidentified militants at point-blank range outside his residence in Louswani area of the same district on Wednesday afternoon, police said. He succumbed on way to a hospital in Srinagar.
 
In another incident, militants shot dead another policeman in Awgam village of neighbouring Kulgam district. Reports said trainee constable Fayaz Ahmad Shah was heading to his home after offering Eid prayers when militants opened fire on him, leaving him critically injured. He was shifted to a nearby hospital, but he succumbed.
 
Shah, according to reports, was earlier working as a special police officer (SPO) and was recently promoted as constable. SPOs are recruited by the police on a fixed monthly remuneration of Rs 6000. The J&K police maintain SPOs are an important element in their strategy to combat militancy.
 
Earlier, the bullet-riddled body of a senior BJP activist, who was abducted by the militants on Tuesday evening, was recovered in Litter village of Pulwama district on Wednesday morning.
 
Police said Shabir Ahmad Bhat, who hails from Pathan village of Pulwama, was abducted by the militants when he was on way to home on Tuesday evening. The police have registered a case and started investigations into the killings.
 
Expressing anguish over the killing of policemen in south Kashmir, state police chief Shesh Pal Vaid said they had ignored advisory against going home unprotected.
 
Vaid also said the BJP activist who was abducted and killed by militants had gone home without his personal security officer.
 
BJP national president Amit Shah condoled his death. “The sacrifice of our @BJP4JnK karyakartas will not go in vain. Entire BJP stands firmly with Shabir Ahmad Bhat’s family in this hour of grief. My deepest condolences. May god give his family the strength to bear this tragic loss (sic),” he tweeted.
 
Bhat is the first political activist killed by the militants after Governor led state government announced municipal and panchayat elections in J&K last week. Earlier on November 2, a 30-year-old BJP youth wing leader was killed by the militants in neighbouring Shopian district.  Throat slit body Gowhar Ahmad Bhat, BJP Youth President, was recovered from an apple orchard with visible torture marks.
 
In April this year, 61-year-old BJP politician, Ghulam Nabi Patel was killed by militants in Pulwama in broad daylight. The killing of political activists, especially in militancy hotbed of south Kashmir, is a grim reminder that Pakistan militant groups will continue to attack democratic process and politics in Kashmir.
 
For the last two years, Panchayat elections, due since July 2016 when the term of the previously elected village representatives ended, has been postponed indefinitely after militant groups issued threats of violence. 
 
Panchayat elections for 4,130 sarpanch and 29,719 panch constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2011 after more than three decades, and 80 percent of the people voted, despite unrest a year earlier. But a year later, the situation in Kashmir changed swiftly, and many panchayat members were targeted by the militants.
 
Since 2011, 16 panchayat members have been killed and 30 wounded in militant attacks in the Valley, according to the documents with Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference

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Three cops, BJP activist killed by militants in Kashmir

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