Suspected militants kill rural body head in Indian-controlled Kashmir

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-4-18 15:06:18

Suspected militants have shot dead a rural body head in Indian- controlled Kashmir, police said Friday.

The rural body head, Mohammed Amin Pandith, was a grassroots political worker affiliated with the region's main opposition, pro- Indian Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The killing took place Thursday night at Gulzarpora village, which is near Awantipora town of Pulwama district, about 35 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

"A sarpanch (rural body head) of PDP was shot dead by suspected militants last night near his residence," said a senior police officer posted in Awantipora.

Pandith, 45, was elected as rural body head in the region's 2011 rural body elections.

The killing came ahead of the polling for India's general elections in Muslim majority areas of the region.

Soon after the killing, contingents of police and paramilitary troopers were rushed to the village in a bid to nab the assailants.

Police have registered a case and started an investigation into the killing.

The killing has created a panic in the village. Last month, gunmen shot dead a rural body head's father in an adjacent village, following which his son and four other members tendered resignations and issued public apology.

So far no militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Earlier this week, militants in an attack on the house of a National Conference worker killed two policemen.

The president of National Conference, Farooq Abdullah, blamed PDP for the attack. PDP has filed a complaint against Abdullah over his allegation with the Election Commission, citing violation of moral code of conduct.

Militants in the restive region usually target families and individuals for their possible links with police and defense agencies. Even people having association with pro-Indian political parties are targeted at times.

Several militant groups had called for a boycott of India's general elections.

Analysts view the killing as an attempt to prevent people from participating in elections and attending pro-India political rallies.

A guerrilla war is going on between militants and the Indian troops stationed in Indian-controlled Kashmir since 1989.

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