34-year-old Fayaz Ahmed Shah had come home to celebrate Eid with his family.
A 34-year-old policeman was killed by terrorists when he was returning home after offering Eid prayers in Jammu and Kashmir, police said. Fayaz Ahmed Shah, a constable in Jammu and Kashmir Police, was shot at outside an Eidgah in Awgam village. He died on the spot.
Shah was a resident of Zazri Pora village in Kulgam district. He was training in Talwara and had come home to celebrate Eid with his family. His mother, wife and two daughters are inconsolable.
The police have registered a case and a search for the terrorists has begun.
Terrorists have been targeting special police officers or SPOs in south Kashmir and asking them to resign. SPOs help the police in day-to-day and anti-terrorism operations. Security analysts say the terrorists are targeting individuals to deter them from joining the police and the military.
Last month, a police constable was kidnapped and murdered in Kulgam. He, too, had come home on leave from training in Jammu. A few days earlier, Javed Ahmad Dar, another constable was kidnapped from his village in Shopian and killed by terrorists.
Army jawan Aurangzeb’s killing after he was kidnapped in Pulwama had led to nationwide outrage. The 24-year-old was going home for Eid in June.
In Pulwama, about 50 km from Kulgam, terrorists have also killed Shabir Ahmad Bhat, a BJP worker. Bhat was kidnapped on Tuesday and his bullet-riddled body was found this morning in the fields in Rakh-e-Litter area of Kupwara, police said.
In a series of tweets, BJP President Amit Shah offered his condolences to Bhat’s family and said that extremists cannot stop the youth of Kashmir from choosing a better future for themselves.
Anguished to learn about the killing of BJP karyakarta, Shabir Ahmad Bhat by terrorists in Pulwama (J&K). This act of cowardice is highly condemnable. Extremists cannot stop the youth of Kashmir from choosing a better future for themselves. This cycle of violence won’t last long. pic.twitter.com/hAOb4ptPeo
– Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 22, 2018
“Anguished to learn about the killing of BJP karyakarta, Shabir Ahmad Bhat by terrorists in Pulwama (J&K). This act of cowardice is highly condemnable. Extremists cannot stop the youth of Kashmir from choosing a better future for themselves. This cycle of violence won’t last long,” Mr Shah tweeted.
“The sacrifice of our @BJP4JnK karyakartas will not go in vain. Entire BJP stands firmly with Shabir Ahmad Bhat’s family in this hour of grief. My deepest condolences. May god give his family the strength to bear this tragic loss,” he wrote in another tweet.
Bhat is the first political activist killed by terrorists after the government announced municipal and panchayat elections in the state last week.
The previous panchayat polls were held in 2011, while the urban body elections have not been held for eight years.
The panchayat polls got delayed in 2016 because of the unrest following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. Last year, the polls were cancelled due to security concerns. The BJP-PDP government led by Mehbooba Mufti had told the centre that the situation was not conducive for the polls.
In the panchayat polls in 2011, more than 4,000 sarpanch and 29,000 panch were elected, and the voter turnout was around 80 per cent. Sixteen panchayat members were reportedly killed and 30 injured in terrorist attacks across the Valley in 2011.