Rakesh Pandita, a Kashmiri pandit and also a BJP leader was shot by terrorists when he had gone to meet a friend in South Kashmir Tral. He died on the spot while his friend’s daughter sustained injuries in the attack.
Mr. Rakesh was the Chairman of the Tral Municipal Committee. According to reports, he had been provided with security by the government due to a militant threat and was assigned, two personal security officers. But, he was not assisted by his personal security officer when he visited Tral. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
“Three unidentified terrorists opened fire at Pandita”, the police said in a statement. Police, Army, and Paramilitary forces are searching the area for the attackers. It is the third killing of a councillor in Kashmir this year. Previously on 30th March, two councillors belonging to BJP were killed by militants who stormed into the Sopore Municipal Council office. Militants have also targeted elected panchs and sarpanchs of the South Kashmir region.
Lt. General of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha tweeted condemning the attack, “Terrorists will never succeed in their nefarious designs and these responsible for such heinous acts shall be brought to justice.”
“It was a barbaric attack. Killing unarmed people is no bravery and police must track down the culprits and punish them,” BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur said, he further added, “Such attacks won’t stop BJP leaders from serving the people.”
Ashok Koul, BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit General Secretary (Organisation) condemned the killing of the party’s councillor and termed it “barbaric”. He said the attack was a cowardly act by the militants and such acts will not bring down the morale of the BJP leadership on the ground.
“Those who are responsible for this will not be spared. The militants are targeting party workers and innocent civilians but they did not know that every person is ready to give sacrifice for this country,” he said.
Sanjay Lone asked the gunmen to go back to where they came from.
Former Chief Minister of J&K and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti offering her condolences to Pandita’s family said, “These senseless acts of violence have brought only misery to J&K.”
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