Former PDP Panch shot dead
Anantnag: Two persons – a 28-yer-old shopkeeper Showkat Ahmad Dar and a former PDP panch Ghulam Rasool Ganaie – were killed by unidentified gunmen in south Kashmir. Police suspect militant involvement in both cases.
Abducted from his home in Arwini area of Bijbehara on Sunday, Dar was found dead Tuesday morning. His body, police said, was recovered from Qazigund area after villagers spotted it and informed the police.
Unidentified gunmen Tuesday evening shot at and killed a former Panchayat member affiliated with the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bon-Nambal neighbourhood of Mattan.
Police said Ganaie was sitting at his grocery shop situated outside his home in Bon-Nambal area when suspected militants opened fire at him.
“They (gunmen) fired multiple rounds at him (Ganaie),” a police official said. Villagers rushed Ganaie to Primary Health Centre (PHC) Mattan, where doctors declared him brought dead. After the attack, police and army cordoned off the area and conducted searches to try and nab the attackers.
Earlier in the day, police said retrieved the body of Showkat Dar and handed it over to his family for identification. A resident of Arwini village, Dar, who worked as a shopkeeper, was abducted by unidentified gunmen at about 8 p.m. Sunday evening. His body had multiple bullet wounds and his face was mutilated, police said.
“He was sitting outside (his home) with some friends when some men, travelling in a white Tavera vehicle, came looking for him. They asked him to sit in the vehicle and drove him away,” one of Dar’s family members said, adding that Dar’s friends told them about the abduction.
Police claimed that militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was behind Dar’s killing. “Investigation so far conducted has established that LeT terrorist Shakoor of Sopat and Azad Dada of Arwini were behind the gruesome killing of Showkat,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG), South Kashmir, S P Pani said.
Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday to participate in the youth’s funeral procession, which was followed by a complete shutdown in the area.
Dar, the lone son of his parents, held a masters’ degree in Physical Education and a Bachelors’ in Education. “His father recently sold some land and established a shop for him in the hope that he would be able to support the family and marry off his sisters. Everything has come down crashing for the old man,” a relative said.