MILITANTS shot dead a BJP councillor in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday night when he was visiting his friend’s house in the Tral area of Pulwama district, officials said here. A group of three militants opened indiscriminate fire at BJP leader Rakesh Pandita around 10.15 pm, a police spokesperson said, adding that his friend’s daughter also suffered injuries and was hospitalised in a critical condition.
The attack was condemned by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and leaders cutting across party lines, including Mehbooba Mufti. According to the police spokesperson, Pandita was a “protected person” and had been provided with two Personal Security Officers (PSOs) and a secured accommodation in Srinagar. At the time of the incident, Pandita was without any PSO as he defied the standard operating procedure (SoP) and went to his native village in the south Kashmir district without his security. Police have registered a case and investigation is in progress.
Officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime, besides why he was without any security at the time of the incident, the spokesman said. The area has been cordoned off and a search is going on to nab the attackers, he added.