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NC demands high level, time-bound probe

Srinagar, Oct 05: Different political parties on Friday condemned the killing of two National Conference (NC) workers in an attack by unknown gunmen here, saying targeting political workers who “champion the cause of the masses” was “downright appalling”.

The NC termed the killing of two of its workers “barbaric”.

NC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah denounced the act as heinous and despicable.

Expressing grief, he said, “People who have committed this dastardly act have no humanity. I empathize with the bereaved families and hope they overcome this trauma that has shattered their lives forever.” The NC also president prayed for peace to the departed souls, an NC press release informed.

It said Farooq while expressing anguish said that the party had already decided not to participate in the ongoing ULB and Panchayat polls and that such attack on NC workers must be thoroughly probed.

“We demand high level, time-bound, impartial probe into the incident. The guilty must not be spared,” he said.

Party vice president Omar Abdullah while condemning the brutal attack said, “I am shocked beyond words; it is an act of terrorism and a ploy to stifle our voice.”

Omar said that the appalling security situation has gone out of the hands of Governor’s administration.

“The incumbent administration had already removed security from some of our functionaries, all this needs to be unearthed and brought before people. There seems to be some sort of a design into the killings of our party-men today and its upto the investigating agencies to identify the killers and bring them to justice. The killings are taking place in broad daylight and that too in an urban heart. We expect that the Governor moves its men and machinery to ensure justice is done swiftly,” Omar Abdullah said.

He said the situation is becoming appalling day by day and that the administration is vacillating and perplexed about the situation.

Praying for the speedy recovery of Shakeel Ahmad Zangoo, another party functionary who got injured in the attack, Omar said, “I pray for his early and complete recovery.”

He also visited Police Control Room Srinagar where the bodies of Mushtaq Ahmad Wani and Nazir Ahmad Bhat were kept and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families there. He was accompanied by party general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, north zone president Mohammad Akbar Lone and Tanvir Sadiq.

Meanwhile, NC Women’s Wing president and MLA Habba Kadal Shameema Firdous was hospitalized after she heard about the killing of her two party colleagues.

“She went into a trauma immediately after hearing about the killing of her two close party associates and was hospitalized. She is stable now,” reads the NC statement. Later Omar Abdullah along with other party leaders visited the hospital to enquire about her health.

“Attack on political workers who champion the cause of common masses is downright appalling & symptomatic of alien elements misrepresenting the ethos of Kashmir. We strongly condemn the brutal murder of @JKNC_ workers. Our hearts go out to their bereaved families,” the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on its official Twitter handle.

PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killing.

“Pained to hear about the killing of two NC workers. My heart goes out to their families & children. Cannot possibly imagine what they must be going through,” she tweeted.

The killings come just three days ahead of polling for the first phase of elections to urban local bodies in the state.

The NC and the PDP have boycotted the polls on the grounds that the state’s special status under Article 35-A of the Constitution is under threat due to the legal challenge to the provision in the Supreme Court.

Senior CPI(M) leader and MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said “such incidents are inhuman and unfortunate and the perpetrators of violence have achieved nothing except for rendering irreparable loss to the families of those killed.”

Expressing sympathies with the bereaved families, the CPI(M) leader conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.

Senior PDP leader and former Finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari in a statement said, “I am extremely saddened over these killings. It is unfortunate that our suggestion for deferment of elections was not paid any heed. We had reiterated time and again that the situation was not favorable for holding local body elections in J&K. This hasty decision has left the lives of common masses in peril.”

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also condemned the killings.

“We strongly condemn the terrorist attack on political workers and killing of two workers of NC in Srinagar,” spokesperson of Jammu and Kashmir BJP, Priya Sethi said.

Expressing her condolences, she said her heart goes out to the bereaved families.

The Congress too condemned the killings and described the incident as “shocking” and “highly painful”.

The party also blamed the Central government for “miserably failing” to ensure congenial atmosphere in the Valley which has lead to an “extremely volatile” situation.

The loss of lives cannot be replaced by anything, the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) spokesperson said in a statement conveying “deepest condolences” to the aggrieved families.

Both State and the Centre cannot escape the responsibility of the killings in the valley, the spokesperson said, adding that effective measures must be taken to ensure safety of political activists and common people as well.

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