Day After Polling, Panch Shot Dead In J&K

8 May 2014
The Hindu
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar: A day after the final phase of polling for the Lok Sabha election in Jammu and Kashmir, a suspected militant on Thursday shot dead a panchayat member of the ruling National Conference even as the votaries of the poll boycott in the Sopore area unleashed terror on commuters from segments in Kupwara and Baramulla districts, which recorded a high voter turnout. Deputy Inspector-General of Police in South Kashmir Vijay Kumar told The Hindu that the 73-year-old panch, Gulam Mohammad Khan of Wanpoh Kulgam, died of injuries on the way to hospital after he was attacked at his hardware shop at Wanpoh Chowk on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway. He was a relative of the NC's MLC Abdul Majid Larnoo. 'Eyewitnesses said a motorcycle stopped at Wanpoh Chowk. The pillion rider, wearing a burkha and looking like a woman, accosted Mr. Khan and fired a pistol straight into his chest. The duo escaped on the motorcycle firing in the air. Three local militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen, including Altaf Kachru and Tauseef, are the prime suspects. We have launched an operation,' the DIG said. Shutdown Sources said unruly groups took to the streets in Sopore and enforced a shutdown while throwing stones at shops and moving vehicles. There was no call for a shutdown. The crowds occupied the strategic Srinagar-Sopore-Kupwara road and began selectively targeting Kupwara-registered vehicles. 'Over 30 minibuses and private cars were damaged. Passengers and drivers were forced to come out and their fingers were checked for the indelible ink mark. Even women commuters were not spared. Men were thrashed and humiliated,' Ghulam Hassan, a shopkeeper, told The Hindu.