A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) affiliate, Shabir Ahmed Bhat, was shot dead by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in the wee hours of Wednesday.
ANI reported that Bhat was shot at 2.30 am at his home in Pulwama's Rakh-e-litter village. Bhat was the BJP constituency president for the Pulwama district, according to sources.
Senior BJP leader Altaf Thakur said that Bhat was the party's constituency president for the Pulwama district. Thakur also said that Bhat was kidnapped by militants around 5.30 pm on Tuesday, from between a bus stand and BJP office in the area.
Sources also said that Bhat was kidnapped by militants at around 11.30 pm, and his body was found early on Wednesday morning. After the police reportedly received a tip, a search party was sent to the spot in Litter, Pulwama.
An NDTV report said that since the government announced municipal and panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir last week, Bhat is the first political activist to have been killed by terrorists.
The BJP wing in Kashmir condemned the violence. A statement said that the party is "pained" to hear about Bhat's murder, who also was in charge of IT and social media for the party.
"Our deepest condolences to his family. Militants must realize that they cannot stop the youth of the valley from choosing a better future for themselves," the statement said. The BJP stands "firmly" with the family of Bhat in this moment of immense grief, it added.
The BJP state president Ravinder Rania said that the killers of "shaheed" Shabir Bhat have no religion and respect for Eid-ul-Azha having spread hate on a day for love and peace, the statement said. Ashok Kaul, state general secretary said that Bhat's family in Pulwama is in a state of shock, according to the statement.
Kaul also said that the party is in solidarity with the family and has demanded strict action against the perpetrators of the crime.
A case under the relevant sections of law has been registered at Litter police station. An investigation is underway, a police official said according to sources.
Union minister for Development of North Eastern Regions, Jitendra Singh condoled the party worker's death. "Deeply shocked by the saddening act of extreme cowardice by terrorists," he said.
With inputs from Ishfaq Naseem
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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 11:00:36 IST