Sarpanch Shot Dead By Suspected Terrorists In North Kashmir's Sopore

20 December 2014
Nazir Masoodi

Sopore: A village sarpanch was shot dead by suspected terrorists in Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir today. Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, the Sarpanch of Bomai village in North Kashmir's Sopore, was killed outside his home today when two militants on motorcycle fired at him from point blank range. Mr Bhat, 70, is the fourth Panchayat member to have been killed during the past one month in Jammu and Kashmir. 'Becoming a Sarpanch is not a crime. My father was helping everyone and working for this village. I don't know who killed him,' said Mehboob Ahmad, Mr Bhat's son. The Sarpanch, who was popularly known as 'Am Chacha', was helpful to everyone, said the local villagers. He had tried to solve their day-to-day governance issues for the last four years, they said. This is the second murder of a Sarpanch in militancy-hit Sopore in the last one week. Hours before the fourth phase of polling last week, 62-year-old Sarpanch Ghulam Mohammad Mir was killed after gunmen kidnapped him from his home at Hygam village in Sopore. Three weeks ago, Sarpanch Mohammad Sultan Bhat in South Kashmir's Shopian was shot dead by militants when he was returning from election campaigning. Mr Bhat is survived by five children, including a physically challenged five-year-old daughter. The final phase of the five-phase Jammu and Kashmir elections was held today. The state this year witnessed the highest voter turnout - 65 per cent - in the last 25 years, the Election Commission said today.