BJP councillor shot dead in Tral

BJP councillor shot dead in Tral
Rakesh Pandita (File photo)Image courtesy: J&K BJP

Awantipora, June 2: Militants on Wednesday evening shot dead a BJP councillor and injured a woman in south Kashmir’s Tral town of Pulwama district.

The slain was identified as Rakesh Pandita and the injured as Asifa Mushtaq.

A police official said that militants fired upon Rakesh from a point-blank range injuring him critically. He was shifted to SDH Tral where doctors declared him ‘brought dead’ on arrival.

“Rakesh had multiple bullet injuries,” a doctor said.

A police official said that Rakesh was present in the house of his neighbour Asifa when gunmen barged inside and shot him.

She (Asifa) also sustained a bullet injury in her leg.

Meanwhile, the area has been cordoned by security forces and a search operation launched to nab the assailants.

Police tweeted that the BJP leader had gone to Tral without security.

“Despite being provided two PSOs and hotel in Srinagar, he went to Tral without PSOs,” the police said in the tweet.

A police official confirmed that the BJP leader was at his friend’s house in Tral when the incident took place.

“Three militants shot at Pandita. Daughter of his friend was also seriously wounded in the militant attack,” he said.

Police said in a statement: “Today at about 2215 hrs, three unidentified terrorists fired indiscriminately upon a Municipal Councillor of Tral town namely Rakesh Pandita son of Somnath resident of Tral Bala who was visiting his friend at Tral Payeen. In this terror incident Rakesh Pandita and daughter of his friend received serious gunshot injuries. Rakesh Pandita succumbed to his injuries while another injured person has been shifted to hospital for treatment of her injuries. It is pertinent to mention that the deceased was a protected person and two PSOs were deployed for his security and secured accommodation was also provided to him at Srinagar. However, at the time of incident he was without any security as he defied the SOPs and went to his native village without PSOs. Police have registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law. Investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime besides why he was without any security at the time of incident. Area has been cordoned off and search in the area is going on to nab the terrorists involved in the attack.”

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