October 2004 News

Political killings on increase

1 October 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu: Killings of the political activists have witnessed an increase this year as compared to 2003. Increase in the killings is being attributed to the elections—first the Parliamentary poll held in April-May this year and now by-elections being held to four Assembly seats. Justifying the claim that political activists are killed more in an election year, official sources said 102 political workers became victims of militancy in the State in the year 2002 when Assembly elections in the State were held in September-October. In 2003, when there were no elections in the State, killings of the political activists went down to 50. However, in first nine months of the year 2004, political killings have again gone up to 60. This year, the Parliamentary elections were held in April-May and Assembly by-elections to four States are being held on October 13. In last few days, two important political workers have been gunned down by the militants in the Valley while an attempt was made to burnt alive another. They include Mohd Ibrahim Ganai of NC, who was killed at Tahar, Pulwama on September 19 and Mohd Yusuf Bhat of Congress, killed on September 29. Ghulam Qadir Malla of PDP received serious burn injuries at Nagbal on September 26 when the militants made an unsuccessful attempt to roast him alive. He was admitted in the hospital. 'Some forces were using terror tactics for ensuring low turn out in the Assembly by-poll', the sources said, linking violence against political activists to the election. Regarding Government taking harsh steps against anti-election forces, they said if they act peacefully, they will not invite any action. 'For peaceful movement, Government will give a free hand but the violence has to be stopped', they added. They pointed out that anti-election posters have also appeared at Kastu, Pahalgam, which had been issued by Hizbul Mujahideen.


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