Suspected militants shot dead a Block Development Council chairman of Khag block in Dalwash village of Budgam district on Wednesday evening.
Police identified the slain as Bhupinder Singh who now resides in Tulsi Bagh Srinagar and had gone to Budgam to attend a function. He had contested BDC elections as an independent candidate.
DGP Dilbagh Singh termed the incident unfortunate, adding that an operation has been launched to track the attackers. The DGP said Bhupinder Singh had left his two security guards at the local police station.
Political parties have condemned the killing, stating that threat to political workers has increased.
“Very sorry to hear about the assassination of BDC councillor Bhupinder Singh. Mainstream grass root political workers are easy targets for militants & unfortunately in recent years the threat to them has only increased. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” National Conference Vice President and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
Apni Party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also condemned the killing.
In a statement, Bukhari termed the killing as highly unfortunate, inhuman and barbaric. “Such acts of violence can never achieve anything except for bringing more miseries to the people,” Bukhari remarked.
He said the use of guns on innocent civilians since 1990s have only brought death and destruction to J&K and have further pushed the people to a dead end. Bukhari said the recent spree of killings of Panchayat representatives in Kashmir is a dastardly act by the elements inimical to peace and prosperity of J&K.
“Violence in any of its form and manifestations will beget violence and this vicious cycle needs an end so that the people of J&K who have suffered a lot in the last many decades live in peace and harmony,” Bukhari remarked.
Calling for a thorough review of security cover of political activists in J&K, Bukhari urged the union home minister to intervene into the matter and pass on some concrete orders in this regard. “Today’s killing in Khag-Budgam has belied the claims of the government. The union home minister should intervene into the matter and order a serious review and categorization of political activists who have put their lives at risk in order to keep the democratic process alive in J&K,” he added.
Apni Party vice president Ghulam Hassan Mir, provincial president Mohammad Ashraf Mir, provincial vice president Jagmohan Singh Raina and party leader Muntazir Mohi-u-Din has also strongly condemned the killing. The party leadership has expressed solidarity with the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
BJP state spokesperson Altaf Thakur also condemned the killing and has demanded security cover for all political workers.