More resignations by BJP workers follow
Anantnag: A Sarpanch, affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Thursday was shot at and killed by militants in Vessu area of Anantnag district.
The 40-year-old Sajad Ahmad Khanday son of Ali Muhammad Khanday was shot at by unidentified gunmen right outside his house in Vessu area at about 9:30 am on Thursday.
A police spokesperson in a handout said that preliminary investigations revealed that militants fired upon the BJP Sarpanch. Khanday, according to police, “was accommodated in secured migrant camp Vesoo but he went to his house without informing police”.
Police has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law.
“He was leaving his house when unidentified militants intercepted him and shot at him multiple times,” a police official from the area told Kashmir Reader. He added that Khanday was evacuated to a hospital but was declared brought dead on arrival by the doctors.
The official said that his body was handed over to his family after medico-legal formalities.
“Also, the area was cordoned off and searches were carried out to try and nab the attackers-who had by then managed to flee the spot,” he said.
The Vessu-Qazigund-Mirbazar area, bifurcated between Anantnag and Kulgam districts, has witnessed three such incidents.
On July 22, a former Ikhwani (counterinsurgent member) serving in the police at present, was shot at and killed outside his home in Furrah village of Mirbazar area. Following this, a BJP affiliated Panch was shot at and critically wounded outside his home in Nowpora area of Akhran in the area on August 4. The Panch is battling for life at a Srinagar hospital.
The attacks have heightened fears among the Panchayat members from BJP in particular in the area.
Resignations by the BJP affiliated Panchayat members have been coming thick and fast. Kashmir Reader reported on Thursday about the resignation of 3 BJP workers from Kond village in the area.
Although they maintained that the resignations were purely on personal grounds, sources in the party confirmed that it was the killings that have prompted the resignations.
This morning another Sarpanch from Devsar area of Kulgam, Muhammad Iqbal, tendered his resignation through a video released over social media.
“I don’t want to get killed. I have small children and no one to take care of them, so I resign from the Panchayat,” Iqbal said in the video, adding that he has not earned a single penny during his tenure as a Sarpanch.
Following Iqbal’s resignation, three more BJP workers from Kokernag area of Anantnag district resigned. They include Shabir Ahmad Khan, Reyaz Ahmad Rather and Abdul Khaliq Sheikh.
Killing of Panchayat members has been going on in Kashmir since a while now and the resignations are not new either. However, the resignations are often tendered through social media or in local mosques and not officially.