April 2017 News

PDP's Pulwama District President Shot Dead, Fresh Clashes Break Out In Srinagar

24 April 2017
The Hindustan Times
Abhishek Saha and Toufiq Rashid

Srinagar: Militants shot dead Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Gani Dar on Monday amid mounting tension and clashes between civilians and security forces in Kashmir. Pulwama superintendent of police Rayees Mohammad Bhat told HT Dar - Pulwama unit president of the state's ruling party - was travelling in a car when motorcyle-borne militants opened fire on him and escaped. The critically injured leader was shifted to Srinagar's SMHS hospital and died on the way. Medical superintendent of SMHS hospital, Dr Nazir Chowdary, said, 'The person was brought dead. He is no more.' He was hit with multiple bullets in his chest, a source said. The attack came just hours after Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and pressed for a dialogue with separatists in the state. Mufti, who is under pressure in the face of fresh street protests in Kashmir, briefed Modi on the prevailing situation and the way forward. Earlier this month, advocate Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan, who was associated wit the National Conference, was shot dead at Pinjoora in Shopian district of South Kashmir. Moreover, last week, a grainy short video had emerged showing Wali Mohammed Bhat, a supporter of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP), apologising profusely and shouting anti-India slogans at gunpoint. Kashmir has been rocked by massive street protests in recent months, especially after eight people were killed during an assembly election bypoll in Srinagar that saw the lowest turnout in decades. Several leaders of the PDP have expressed fear that their base in Kashmir is fast eroding because of the party's alliance with BJP and its stance on the protests. The attack on the PDP leader came on the day fresh clashes broke out between protesters and security forces at SP College in Srinagar, police said. No casualties were reported in the incident. Police said some students indulged in stone-pelting, and police and security forces used batons to chase them away. Colleges opened in Kashmir on Monday after a gap of five days as authorities shut higher education institutes in the wake of Valley-wide student protests last Monday against alleged high-handedness of security forces with students in Pulwama.