Srinagar, June 3: The death of Bharatiya Janata Party’s municipal councilor Rakesh Pandita was widely condoled by different political parties on Thursday.
Expressing shock and grief at the killing of Pandita, BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said it was heinous act of the militants who want to throttle democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said people of J&K want progress and development and that violence was fast losing sense and relevance.
“It is time for the militants to realise their foolishness and join the mainstream,” Church said.
BJP’s J&K General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Koul termed Pandita’s killing as a “security lapse” and questioned how militants were roaming freely in the area.
“Were not the security agencies aware that three unidentified militants were roaming in the area,” Koul said and asked the government to admit lapses on its part.
He termed Pandita’s killing as a political killing and said that this should not be associated with the return of Kashmiri Pandits.
BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur and BJP district vice president Uzair Beigh also condemned the killing.
National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah also condemned the killing of the BJP.
In his message, the NC president said, “The news of killing of BJP municipal councilor has saddened me. I condemn the incident in unequivocal terms and share the grief of the bereaved family. The incidents puts a question mark on the overhaul security situation in J&K,” he said.
The NC vice president said, “The BJP councilor joins a long list of mainstream politicians targeted and assassinated in Kashmir because of their association with electoral politics. I unequivocally condemn this attack and convey my heartfelt condolences to his family,” he said.
Senior NC leaders Ali Muhammad Sagar, Mustafa Kamal, Nasir Aslam Wani and Devender Singh Rana also condemned the incident.
Rana described the BJP councilor’s killing as “barbaric and inhuman”.
He said that the guilty involved in the incident should be identified and doled out exemplary punishment.
Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari condemned the killing saying that violence in any of its manifestations was not going to yield anything for the people except death and destruction.
He said that Pandita was a dynamic person who would also visit Apni Party office to discuss a myriad of matters that concerned the people of Tral.
“He was connected to grassroots and was always ready to deliver his unstinted services for the public welfare,” Bukhari said.
He said that the elements inimical to peace and prosperity in J&K should not be allowed to go scot-free and the administration should identify and nab the culprits behind such attacks and book them under stringent laws.
“The cycle of violence should end somewhere so that people of J&K heave a sigh of relief as we have witnessed enough death and devastation for long now. We cannot afford the loss of another generation,” Bukhari said.
He also sought a thorough security review of the political workers who reside in violence-prone areas in J&K.
“The Union Home Ministry should take a review of the security situation in J&K and take measures to prevent recurrence of such attacks in the future,” Bukhari said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) condemned the killing of the BJP councilor terming the incident as “unfortunate and shocking”.
JKPCC in a statement described the killing of the BJP councilor as highly condemnable, heinous act and said that the killing of political workers and common people were unacceptable in a civilized society and deserve strong condemnation from every section of society.
Congress also demanded stern action against the killers of the BJP councilor and ex-gratia to the family of the deceased.
The JKPCC also urged the government to ensure protection of political persons in J&K.
Congress also sought the statement of Home Minister Amit Shah on the repeated killings of political activists in Kashmir.
Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakeem Yaseen condemns killing saying that the killing of any unarmed and innocent human being was against the tenants of all religions.
He said that in a democratic set up, every citizen had a right to express views and that the dissent was an essence of democracy.
Yaseen also conveyed his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family.
J&K National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leadership expressed anguish over the killing of the BJP municipal councillor and questioned how gunmen were moving unhindered in sensitive areas.
The JKNPP statement said that the party leaders held a virtual meeting under the leadership of JKNPP President Bhim Singh and expressed shock over the point-blank shooting of the BJP councillor.