BJP sarpanch shot dead in Qazigund

Representational Pic

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) affiliated sarpanch was shot dead in Qazigund area of south Kashmiris Anantnag district on Thursday.

He was identified as Sajad Ahmad Khanday. A police official said militants in the morning fired upon Khanday near his residence in Vesu village of Qazigund in the police jurisdiction of Kulgam.

He received critical bullet injuries and was shifted to GMC Anantnag, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Soon after the incident security forces cordoned off the area and launched searches to nab the assailants. Khanday, also BJP vice-president for Kulgam, was laid to rest at his native village.

This was the second such attack in south Kashmir in less than 48 hours.

Earlier, in a similar attack on Tuesday late evening, militants shot at and critically injured a BJP affiliated panch, Arif Ahmad Shah, in Aakhran village of Devsar in Kulgam.

Shah is battling for life at SKIMS Srinagar.

Both the villages fall in the Devsar assembly segment of Kulgam. Last month, BJP’s Sheikh Waseem Bari, his father and brother –  also BJP workers- were killed by militants in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. He was the former district chief for Bandipora The back to back attacks have triggered a spree of resignations with many BJP affiliated workers dissociating themselves from the party..

Video of a sarpanch, Muhammad Iqbal of Chandian-Pangan village of Devsar, has gone viral wherein he is announcing quitting politics. “I am resigning as sarpanch,” he is heard saying in the video.

Four more BJP members from Kulgam also claimed to have resigned. These include BJPs district secretary Kulgam, Nisar Ahmad Mir of Kelam- Devsar; district general secretary Shahzad Ahmad Bhat of Chowgam-Devsar; and party workers- Muhmad Ayub Ganai of Bnagha-Devsar and Gul Muhamad Ganai of Chadein-Devsar.

Earlier, on Wednesday three BJP representatives in Devsar also claimed to have tendered resignations.

These included Sabzar Ahmad Paddar of Warpora –Kund who is the vice president Devsar constituency; Nisar Ahmad Wani of Hakradan, Wrapora, Kund who is the constituency president and Ashiq Hussain Palla also of Warpora-Kund.

In Kokernag constituency of Anantnag, three more BJP workers have also disassociated from the party.

These include Shabir Ahmad Khan; Reyaz Ahmad Rather and Abdul Khaliq Sheikh all from Naurupoa- Watnard village.