Jammu & Kashmir

‘Pakistan’s frustration over voting in Kashmir’: BJP protests against party worker’s killing in Shopian

A funeral procession of former Sarpanch Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh of Shopian. He was shot dead by militants on May 18. [FPK Photo/ Qayoom Khan]

Srinagar: The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit has expressed outrage over the recent killing of a former sarpanch in Shopian, south Kashmir. The party stated that the attack is a result of “Pakistani terrorists’ frustration” due to the increasing participation of Kashmiris in the electoral process.

The unit also blamed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Shopian for alleged negligence and lack of adequate security measures. The last rites of the slain were held this morning at his native village Herpora.

Last night, militants shot dead the former Sarpanch Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh in Shopian  and a tourist couple from Rajasthan was injured in a separate attack in Anantnag. While the tourists are stable, Sheikh’s killing has sparked a protest by BJP workers. Former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir Umar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the attack.

BJP’s JK unit held a protest at party headquarters in Srinagar over killing of a party worker in Shopian on May 18, 2024. [FPK Photo/ Mohammad Syeed Shawl]

Addressing journalists today, BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur discribed the attacks as attempts to disrupt peace and stability in Kashmir, particularly ahead of the upcoming elections. Thakur’s most criticism was reserved for the Deputy Commissioner of Shopian, whom he accused of “failing to act on prior warnings” about threats from Pakistani militants.

“We had explicitly warned the Deputy Commissioner of Shopian about the threat from Pakistani terrorists,” Thakur asserted. “His failure to respond appropriately and his undemocratic approach have led to the tragic killing of our party worker. This level of negligence is unacceptable.”

He claimed that the slain sarpanch had not been provided with proper accommodation and protection, despite repeated requests.

Condemning the incident, Mufti took to her twitter handle and wrote, “While we condemn the attack in Pahalgam today that resulted in injuries to two tourists followed by another attack on a sarpanch in Hurpora, Shopian – the timing of these attacks given that the South election was delayed without any reason is a cause of concern. Especially keeping in mind normalcy claims touted by GOI. (Sic)”

“Very sorry to hear about the twin militant attacks in South Kashmir against tourists & a political worker of the BJP. I unequivocally condemn these deadly attacks. My condolences to the family of Aijaz Ahmed. May Allah grant him place in Jannt. I also pray that Tabrez & Farah, from Jaipur in Rajasthan, make a complete recovery,” Omar tweeted.

In another post, he wrote, “JKNC President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and VP OmarAbdullah condemn the terror attacks in Yannar, Anantnag, and Shopian today. They have said that such acts of brutality remain a serious impediment to achieving long-term peace in J&K. They urged all communities to come together in these challenging times and support efforts towards lasting harmony. Their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult period.”

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