A leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his wife were shot dead Monday by suspected militants in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said.
Regional police said Ghulam Rasool Dar, a district president of BJP Kisan Morcha, and his wife Jawahira Banoo were fired on indiscriminately after militants barged into their rented accommodation in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the capital city Srinagar.
Regional Police Chief Vijay Kumar, while confirming the incident, said the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attack.
“A manhunt has been launched to nab the attackers,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, the ruling party’s spokesman, Altaf Thakur, condemned the killing of Dar and his wife, terming it barbaric and cowardly. He said attacking and killing innocent people will lead nowhere and the acts reflect the frustration of the militants.
He expressed his sympathies with the bereaved family and urged the police to apprehend the attackers and punish them sternly.
The lieutenant governor of the Jammu and Kashmir region, Manoj Sinha, also condemned the attack.
“This is an act of cowardice and perpetrators of violence will be brought to justice very soon. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family in this time of grief,” he said on his official Twitter account.
The attack is the third this year on ruling party leaders and workers in the Kashmir region.
On March 29, militants launched an attack outside the municipal office in Sopore, around 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Srinagar, killing two municipal councilors -- Shams-ud-din Peer and Riyaz Ahmad -- and police constable Shafqat Ahmad.
On June 3, militants shot dead BJP councilor Rakesh Pandit while he was in south Kashmir’s Tral area without his two security guards./aa