This is the third killing of a local elected representative by militants in Jammu and Kashmir this month.
“Around 8:50 pm, terrorists fired upon Shabir Ahmad Mir near his residence in Adoura in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district,” the officials said.
They said Mir, an Independent sarpanch, was taken to a hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
The area has been cordoned off and a hunt launched to nab the attackers, they said.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said Mir had been provided accommodation at a secured hotel here but he went home without informing the police.
“Deceased #Sarpanch Shri Shabir Ahmed Mir was given accommodation in a #secured hotel in #Srinagar. He had left hotel and reached his home without informing police. All PPs (police protectees) are #advised to kindly follow SOPs,” he said in a tweet.
The killing drew condemnation from Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and political leaders and parties.
“I strongly condemn the despicable terror attack on Sarpanch Shabir Ahmad Mir in Kulgam. Our police & security forces are determined to eliminate terror ecosystem. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family. In this hour of grief, J&K admin stands in solidarity with family members,” the LG wrote on Twitter.
National Conference (NC) vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed shock at Mir’s killing.
“Shocked by the targeted killing of Sarpanch Shabir Ahmed Mir. Political workers get killed, we offer our condolences, life goes on and then the same thing happens again. There is a mind-numbing pattern to these killings & our reactions. Sadly nothing changes,” Abdullah tweeted.
“I can only offer my condolences to Shabir’s family & my prayers that he finds place in Jannat. I wish his death was the last one we would see but sadly that will not be,” he added.
On Mir being housed in a secure hotel, Abdullah said, “What does it say about the security situation or the effectiveness of this much bragged about third tier of government that Shabir had to be housed in a secure hotel all the way in Srinagar?”
The NC termed the attack on Mir “barbaric”.
“Deeply saddened & shocked by the barbaric attack on Sarpanch Shabir Ah Mir in Audura, Kulgam in which he lost his life. We condemn in the most vigorous way this cowardly attack & express our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. May Allah grant him a place in Jannat,” the party said on Twitter.
Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone tweeted, “Strongly condemn the killing of a sarpanch in Kulgam. May the killers rot in Hell.”
The Peoples Conference said it is worrisome that public representatives are continuously being targeted to spread fear.
The BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir spokesperson Altaf Thakur said the attack on Mir was an act of “cowardice”.
“It is an attack on democracy and such attacks won’t be tolerated,” he said.
Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari said, “Extremely saddened by this dastardly, inhumane attack on a Sarpanch in Kulgam. I unequivocally condemn this terror attack on a grassroots political worker. This is a second attack on a Panchayat representative in last two days in the Valley.”
On March 9, an Independent sarpanch, Sameer Bhat, was shot dead by terrorists on the outskirts of Srinagar.
On March 2, terrorists shot dead an Independent panchayat member, Mohammad Yaqub Dar, in Kulgam’s Srandoo area.