Militants Kill Sarpanch In Pulwama

Militants Kill Sarpanch In Pulwama

8 April 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: A senior National Conference worker and Sarpanch of a village in South Kashmir district of Pulwama was shot dead by unknown militants this evening. DIG South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told Excelsior that the Sarpanch of Halqa Lidermarh of village Koulpora was shot dead by unknown militants outside his residence. The DIG said that as per his son, Lone came out of his house at around 8:30 p.m. to switch on the water mortar. “A pheran clad militant waiting there asked his name and then shot him in the head from close range”, he added. Kumar said it appeared that the militant, who shot the Sarpanch dead was a local militant. Lone was removed to hospital by his family members and neighbours who gathered after hearing the alarm raised by his son. The militant fled after carrying out the attack under the cover of darkness. His family members and neighbours found him in a pool of blood and rushed him to hospital but he died on the way. Senior Police officers including the DIG South Kashmir reached the village to take stock of the situation. A hunt has been launched for the militant responsible for his killing. Large number of people have gathered at the residence of deceased Sarpanch and he will be buried tomorrow. This is the third killing of a Sarpanch in North Kashmir this year and second of an NC worker cum Sarpanch. Militants shot dead Javed Ahmad, an NC worker and Sarpanch of a village in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district in February 24. Javed Ahmad Wani was close to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other NC leaders. Earlier, militants killed a senior Congress workers and Sarpanch Habibullah Mir of Gooripora Bomai in Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on January 12. He was shot at point-blank range when he was supervising construction work near a local Masjid. A day after Mir was killed, another Panchayat member, Zooni Begam, was shot at in similar circumstances in a nearby Hardshiva village of Sopore. Zooni survived the attack and is being treated in the intensive care unit of SKIMS hospital in Srinagar. Two back to back attacks in the area spread panic among the Panchayat members of the area. Over 100 of them resigned in the aftermath of the attacks taking the number of resignations due to militant threats since last year to around 1600. Over 1600 Panchayat members resigned since the elections to the Panchayat that were held in 2011 between April and June. Over 33,000 Sarpanchs and Panchs were elected in these elections in the State that were held after a gap of 34 years. Despite militant threats a record of over 80 per cent people voted in these grass root level democratic institutions. Army and police are patrolling sensitive areas of Kashmir valley to give a sense security to the Panchayat members after militant threats in which 5 Panchayat members were killed for last over a year.