Srinagar: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists Monday barged into the house of a BJP sarpanch in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district and sprayed him and his wife with bullets, taking the number of saffron party workers killed in the valley this year to four.
The incident, according to the police, took place at 4 pm in Lal Chowk area as the two terrorists entered the rented accommodation of Ghulam Rasool Dar and fired indiscriminately at him and his wife Jawhara Begum, officials said.
The BJP leader and his wife received critical gunshot injuries and were immediately shifted to a hospital, where they were declared brought dead, police said.
Immediately after the incident, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar reached the spot to have a firsthand assessment of the situation.
The IGP said that “two motorcycle-borne terrorists of banned LeT outfit were involved in this barbaric terror incident”.
The couple were provided with a secured accommodation at the Snow Cap Hotel, Kulgam, and both stayed there for a short period, but they had been continuously insisting to move to their house at Anantnag Town and also submitted an undertaking in this regard, police said.
“On their request, they were allowed to stay at the house in Anantnag. He was also provided with one PSO who, however, was found absent from duty at the time of the incident. The said PSO has been placed under suspension,” a statement from the police said.
Police have registered a case in this regard and a probe is in progress to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime.
Dar, a resident of the Redwani area of district Kulgam, was a sarpanch affiliated with the BJP. He had unsuccessfully contested the last year’s District Development Council elections.
He was also the district president of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha for Kulgam and was living in a rented accommodation in Anantnag.
Dar becomes the fourth BJP leader to be targeted by the terrorists this year alone.
While two BJP councillors were killed in a daring attack on the Municipal Council in the Sopore area of Baramulla district in March this year, Rakesh Pandita, the BJP councillor from Tral in Pulwama district was shot dead on June 2 this year.
Militants have also targeted civilians, policemen and off-duty army jawans during the year. While nine civilians have been killed by terrorists, six police personnel and an army man also lost their lives in similar attacks.
Last year also, militants targeted BJP workers killing at least six of them.