Anantnag: Three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, one of them the general secretary of the party’s youth wing in Kulgam district, were shot at and killed by militants in YK Pora area of Kulgam district on Thursday evening.
The slain have been identified as Fida Hussain Tattoo, the youth wing’s general secretary, Haroon Rashid and Umar Hajam.
Hussian and Umar Hajam were residents of YK Pora while the third one Haroon Rasheed was a resident of Sopat, police said in a handout.
As per police, the incident took place at about 8:20 in YK Pora area. “The trio was standing outside a house when the militants opened indiscriminate fire at them,” a police official said.
He added that the three of them were immediately rushed to Qazigund Emergency Hospital, where doctors declared them brought dead. “Medico-legal formalities are being completed after which the bodies will be handed over to the families for burial,” the official said.
Senior BJP leader from Anantnag Sofi Yusuf said that Hussain was without security as he was not provided despite requests. He said that Hussain was ambushed by militants right outside his home.
Following the shootout the whole area was cordoned off and government forces were carrying out a combing operation to try and nab the attackers.
Police said they have filed a case and taken up investigations into the incident.
This is the second such incident in Kashmir valley this year. Earlier in July a youth BJP leader, along with his father and brother, was shot dead by suspected militants in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.
In Qazigund area, a policeman, a Territorial Army man, and two Panchayat members have been killed by militants earlier this year.
Meanwhile, J&K BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur condemned the killings and termed them as “barbaric”. “Even militants don’t spare the unarmed people on Eid-e-Milaad-un-Nabi (SAW),” he said while urging police to nab the killers.
Former chief minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah condemned the killings. “Terrible news from Kulgam district of South Kashmir. I unequivocally condemn the targeted killing of the 3 BJP workers in a terror attack. May Allah grant them place in Jannat & may their families find strength during this difficult time,” he tweeted soon after the attack.
PDP president Mehbooba Mufti paid her condolences to families of the slain political workers and tweeted, “Saddened to hear about the killing of three BJP workers in Kulgam. Condolences to their families. At the end of the day, its people of J&K who pay with their lives because of GOI’s ill thought out policies.”