Unidentified gunmen Sunday killed a rural body head (locally called Sarpanch) in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.
The rural body head Fayaz Ahmad Bhat (34) was a grass-root level political worker affiliated with pro-India National Conference, which is currently an opposition in the region.
Bhat was fired upon by unknown gunmen inside his house at village Kandizal near Pampore town in Pulwama district, about 20 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
“Today a Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmad Bhat was killed inside his house,” a senior police official told Xinhua. “The gunmen came to the village riding a motorcycle and barged into Bhat’s house, where they resorted to indiscriminate firing, causing his death instantly.”
Locals said Bhat was immediately removed to the nearest medical facility but doctors declared him brought dead. Bhat was elected as rural body head in region’s 2011 rural body elections.
Following the rural body elections, the elected members became easy targets for militants and were targeted for quite some time.
The unidentified gunmen, who police suspect were militants fled from the spot soon after the attack, reports said. However, so far no militant outfit has claimed responsibility of the killing.
Militants in the region usually target families and individuals for their possible links with Indian police and defense agencies. Even people having associations with pro-India political parties are targeted at times.
Large-scale protests against New Delhi’s rule are going on in the Muslim majority areas of the restive region since July 8, following the killing of a top militant commander.
According to local media reports so far around 90 people, mostly young men and children, were killed, besides over 12,000 others injured during the past 86 days of shutdown and restrictions.