Srinagar: A J&K Apni Party (JKAP) leader was killed by suspected militants in south Kashmir district of Kulgam on Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, mainstream politicians, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, besides Apni party president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari and CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami have condemned the killing of the JKAP leader.
Official sources said that suspected militants fired at Apni Party leader, identified as Ghulam Hassan Lone, near his residence at Devsar in Kulgam. “Lone was critically injured in the attack,” they said, adding the wounded was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
They said the gunmen managed to escape during the chaos created due to the firing. “Security forces have been rushed to the area and a search operation has been launched to locate the gunmen,” they added.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Abdullah, who is the president of National Conference (NC), said that this renewed trend of targeting mainstream politicians by militant outfits is very worrying. “Very sorry to hear about the assassination of Ghulam Hassan Lone in Devsar area of South Kashmir. This renewed trend of targeting mainstream politicians by militant outfits is very worrying & I condemn the same in the strongest possible terms. May Allah grant the departed Jannat,” he former chief minister wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
Condemning the killing of the Apni party leader, Ms Mehbooba said that unfortunately there seems to be no end to the spree of political killings in Kashmir. “Unreservedly condemn the killing of Apni party leader Ghulam Hassan Lone. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family,” Ms Mehbooba, who is the president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), tweeted.
Mr Bukhari termed the incident barbaric and conveyed deep anguish over the innocent killings of political activists, who lay down their lives for the public welfare. “Expressed deep solidarity with the family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul,” he added.
This is the third incident in less than a fortnight when a politician was killed in south Kashmir. A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, identified as Javaid Ahmad Dar, was on Tuesday killed by suspected militants at Brazloo in Kulgam. On August 9, a BJP sarpanch and his Panch wife from Redwani Kulgam were shot dead by militants in south Kashmir district of Anantnag.