Srinagar: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and municipal chairman Rakesh Pandita was killed by terrorists on Wednesday night in South Kashmir’s Tral area, police said, adding that three terrorists were involved in the incident.
Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said that late on Wednesday evening, three unidentified terrorists fired upon municipal councillor of Tral town, Rakesh Pandita, a resident of Tral Bala, who was visiting his friend at Tral Payeen.
“Pandita succumbed to his injuries whereas his friend’s daughter is seriously wounded,” Kumar said.
Police said Pandita was residing in a secure accommodation at Srinagar and was provided with two public security officers.
“The councillor was not accompanied by the PSOs during his visit to Tral. Police and security forces have cordoned the area and massive search operation has been launched to nab the assailants,” the senior officer said.
BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur condemned the killing of party leader. “Such attacks won’t stop BJP leaders from serving the people. Attacking unarmed people is no bravery and that police must track down the culprits and punish them accordingly,” said Thakur.
People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Lone tweeted, “Yet again gunmen attack a non-combatant. This gun is a curse. Just ponder. Since the day this menace came into Kashmir. What have we seen. In a nut shell total disempowerment of the Kashmiri. Dear gunmen. Can u please go back where u came from. We have had enough.”
Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the incident. “Shocked to hear that BJP leader Rakesh Pandit has been shot dead by militants. These senseless acts of violence have brought only misery to J&K. My condolences to the family & may his soul rest in peace,” Mufti said in a tweet.