News Brief

Violence Strikes In Jammu And Kashmir Amid Poll Campaigning: Former Sarpanch Killed, Tourists Injured In Twin Attacks

Bhuvan Krishna

May 19, 2024, 10:23 AM | Updated 10:23 AM IST

Representative Image
Representative Image

A former sarpanch was killed and a couple from Rajasthan was injured in separate terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday (18 May), two days before polling as per a report by NDTV.

The incidents occurred amid the country's six-week general election, which is currently in its fourth round with three more to go. Votes will be counted on 4 June.

Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh, a former sarpanch, was shot in Hurpura village in the Shopian district and later died in the hospital. In another incident in Anantnag, a couple from Rajasthan was injured.

"He (sarpanch) was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Terrorists also fired at a tourist couple from Jaipur, identified as Tabriz and his wife Farha, in the Yannar area of Anantnag district. The injured couple has been hospitalised for treatment. The area has been cordoned off for searches," an official stated.

These attacks come amid campaigning for the parliamentary polls in the Anantnag-Rajouri seat.

Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the National Conference, PDP, and BJP, have condemned the attacks.

Former Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Anantnag-Rajouri seat, expressed her concerns on X, saying, "While we condemn the attack in Pahalgam today that resulted in injuries to two tourists followed by another attack on a (former) sarpanch in Hirpora, Shopian — the timing of these attacks given that the south election was delayed without any reason is a cause of concern. Especially keeping in mind normalcy claims touted by GOI (Government of India)."

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah also condemned the terror attacks.

"They have said that such acts of brutality remain a serious impediment to achieving long-term peace in J-K. They urged all communities to come together in these challenging times and support efforts towards lasting harmony. Their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult period," a statement from the party read.

The BJP also condemned the killing of ex-sarpanch Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh in Hirpora, Shopian, South Kashmir, by terrorists. "Aijaz Ahmad was a brave soldier of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP firmly stands with the family of Aijaz Ahmad, who lost his life in this terror attack," the party stated.

Voting for the Udhampur and Jammu seats concluded on 19 and 26 April, respectively, while Srinagar voted on 13 May. The Baramulla seat will vote on 20 May, and the Anantnag-Rajouri seat will vote on 25 May.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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