Apni party candidate shot at, injured in Kokernag

Apni party candidate shot at, injured in Kokernag
Photo Source: Facebook/ Anees Ul Islam

Suspected militants on Friday shot at and injured a district development council (DDC) candidate in Sagam village of Kokernag in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. Anees ul Islam, 40, an Apni Party candidate for Sagam block, was shot outside his residence in the afternoon.

"The gunmen shot at him twice from point-blank range leaving him injured," a police official said.

He said he was immediately removed to SDH Kokernag and then shifted to GMC Anantnag for specialized treatment.

"Anees has received bullet injury in hand and buttocks," said a doctor treating him.

This is the second such attack this week.

Earlier, a political worker from Soura, Srinagar, was also shot at and injured.

Anees was associated with Congress for long and was its youth block president for Sagam. Later, he joined the National Conference. But as he was denied a ticket he switched sides again to join the Apni Party.

A senior police official said Anees was allocated secure cluster accommodation in Khanabal.

The police official said Anees was also instructed to get escort personnel for campaigning purposes which he did not take.

"All the candidates have been instructed to inform us before going out for campaigning. The information regarding his movement was not conveyed to PCR or PS Kokernag," he added.

Meanwhile, State Election Commissioner K.K Sharma has condemned the attack on Anees Ul Islam.

SEC said that "the candidate had been advised by police on 3rd December after scrutiny of nominations to get escort for campaigning which he unfortunately did not take." He further said that the candidate has suffered minor injuries and his condition is stable.

"A case has been registered by the police and they have advised all the candidates to follow the security SOPs. SEC maintained and added that a security review of candidates is also being under taken," the SEC said.

Apni Party President Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari condemned the attack on Anees-ul-Islam.

In a statement, Bukhari said "such violent incidents add to the miseries and sufferings of people and cannot be condoned by anyone in civilized society across the world."

"This dastardly attack on our contesting candidate is a manifestation of frustration among forces inimical to peace and rising popularity of the Apni Party among the people," he said while urging the government to take serious cognizance of this incident and take all necessary security measures in this regard. Bukhari also sought a thorough security review for vulnerable political workers who reside in more violence prone areas in J&K. "The J&K government should take a review of the security situation and take measures to prevent recurrence of such attacks in future," he added.

Senior Vice-President Ghulam Hassan Mir has also strongly condemned the attack on the Apni Party candidate and demanded probe.

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