Photo: Mir Waseem/GK
Photo: Mir Waseem/GK

NC block president shot at in Anantnag

Khalid Gul

Unknown gunmen shot at and injured the National Conference's block president for Bijbehara area in southern Anantnag district on Thursday, officials said.

The incident took place on the day the election commissionof India-appointed "special observers" arrived in Srinagar and held meetingswith some mainstream political parties about holding the assembly elections inthe state.

A source said that at around 5.45pm, gunmen opened fire onMuhammad Ismail (60) in Thajiwara village of Bijbehara, leaving him injured.

Ismail, who hails from nearby Dupatyar village, has beenassociated with NC for long and rose to become its block president forBijbehara.

He was evacuated to sub-district hospital Bijbehara, wherefrom he was referred to Srinagar for specialised treatment.

"He (Ismail) had two bullet injuries near each of his ribsand one superficial injury on the back side," a doctor at the SDH told GreaterKashmir.

The police blamed militants for the attack.

"A case has been registered into the incident andinvestigations taken up," a police spokesperson said.

He said a local police unit is at the spot and are probingthe circumstances "which led to this incident".

National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah prayed forspeedy recovery of Wani.

"My colleague Mohd Ismail Wani, block president Bijbeharablock in South Kashmir has been shot at and injured. He has been referred toSrinagar. Praying for his recovery," Omar tweeted.

The attack on the political worker comes barely four daysafter the election commission of India (ECI) announced dates for the Lok Sabhaelections in Jammu and Kashmir, with the restive Anantnag parliamentary seatalone going for polls in three phases.

The government was not able to hold the by-elections due forthe south Kashmir Lok Sabha seat in April 2017 due to the deteriorating securitysituation in the region.

The elections for the seat were necessitated after MehboobaMufti took over as chief minister in June 2016 following the death of hisfather Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.

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