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BJP leader shot dead in Tral

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LG, Sajad Lone, Mehbooba condemn killing

Tral: Suspected militants on Wednesday evening shot dead a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and injured one more as they opened fire on them in Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, officials said.

The officials said that suspected militants shot at a BJP leader in Tral, adding that he was shifted to a nearby hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. He was identified as Rakesh Pandit.

The officials said that Pandit was shot at the house of his friend, whom he was visiting, Mushtaq Ahmad and during the shootout, house owner’s daughter, Asifa Mushtaq has also sustained injuries and has been shifted to Sub District Hospital Tral where she is undergoing treatment.

A police official, while confirming the incident, said, “Late in the evening today, 3 unidentified terrorists fired upon Municipal Councillor, town Tral Rakesh Pandit s/o Somnath r/o Tral Bala who was visiting his friend at Tral Payeen”.

The spokesman said that Pandita succumbed to injuries whereas daughter of his friend is seriously wounded.

He further said that the said councillor was residing in a secure accommodation at Srinagar and was provided with two PSOs and was not accompanied by them during the visit to Tral.

Police and security forces have cordoned the area and massive search operation has been launched to nab the assailants, said the spokesman.

Meanwhile, J&K’s Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, Peoples Conference Chairman, Sajad Lone and PDP President, Mehbooba Mufti and others condemned the killing.

LG, Sinha tweeted, “Saddened to hear about the terror attack on the councilor Shri Rakesh Pandita at Tral, pulwama. I strongly condemn the attack. My condolences to bereaved family in this time of grief.”

Sajad Lone and Mehbooba Mufti too took to the social networking site Twitter to condemn the killing.

“Yet again gunmen attack a non combatant. This gun is a curse. Just ponder. Since the day this menace came into Kashmir. What have we seen. In a nut shell total disempowerment of the Kashmiri. Dear gunmen. Can u please go back where u came from. We have had enough,” Sajad Lone tweeted.

Mehbooba tweeted: “Shocked to hear that BJP leader Rakesh Pandit has been shot dead by militants. These senseless acts of violence have brought only misery to J&K. My condolences to the family & may his soul rest in peace.”

Salman Sagar of National Conference too condemned the killing.

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