Blood-thirsty terrorists mercilessly killed another grassroots level BJP leader in the Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district
A democratically elected public representative belonging to the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) was killed in cold blood by a group of terrorists in the Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district late Wednesday night.
The BJP leader has been identified as Rakesh Pandita. He was currently holding the charge of Municipal Councillor of Tral town.
Almost a year ago on June 8, 2020, another Kashmiri pandit sarpanch identified as Ajay Bharti was killed in cold blood by terrorists by pumping bullets in his head and back, from behind.
The last rites of Rakesh Pandita were performed in Jammu after his mortal remains arrived here in the wee hours of Thursday. Several BJP leaders along with local residents in the area joined the funeral procession.
The Jammu and Kashmir police had devised fresh SOP’s and extended security cover to the popular leaders based on threat assessment.
The majority of these elected representatives were also provided with safe accommodation in Srinagar to ensure their safety. Ironically, late Wednesday night when Pandita was targeted by the terrorists he was not accompanied by his security guards.
The hiding terrorists reportedly took advantage of their absence and barged inside the home of Mushtaq Ahmad, a close friend of Rakesh Pandita, and opened indiscriminate firing on them.
According to a spokesman of Jammu and Kashmir Police, “a group of three terrorists targeted Municipal Councillor of Tral town, Rakesh Pandita son of Somnath Pandita inside the home of his friend Mushtaq Ahmad. The daughter of his friend Asifa Mushtaq also received injuries in the indiscriminate firing.
Pandita was rushed to the nearby hospital where doctors declared him dead.
In a written statement the Jammu and Kashmir police spokesman said that Pandita was provided secure accommodation at Srinagar and was guarded by two PSOs (Personal Security Officers) Soon after the attack local police launched a massive operation in the area to track down the footprints of terrorists responsible for the killing of the BJP leader.
Meanwhile, the last rites of Rakesh Pandita were performed in Jammu after his mortal remains arrived here in the wee hours of Thursday. Several BJP leaders along with local residents in the area joined the funeral procession. Kashmiri pandits spread over the country and those living outside India have also reacted strongly to the targeted killing of a Kashmiri pandit councillor.
Leaders condemned the killing of a BJP leader
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha strongly condemned the killing of the BJP leader. “Saddened to hear about the terror attack on the Councillor Rakesh Pandita at Tral, Pulwama. I strongly condemn the attack. My condolences to the bereaved family in this time of grief,” he said, adding, “terrorists will never succeed in their nefarious designs, and those responsible for such heinous acts shall be brought to justice.”
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah in a tweet said, “BJP councillor Rakesh Pandita joins a long list of mainstream politicians targeted & assassinated in Kashmir because of their association with electoral politics. I unequivocally condemn this attack & convey my heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace”.
Former Chief Minister and president of the People’s Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, condemned the killing of a BJP leader. “Shocked to hear that BJP leader Rakesh Pandit has been shot dead by militants. These senseless acts of violence have brought only misery to J&K. My condolences to the family & may his soul rest in peace”, she tweeted.
BJP UT president Ravinder Raina has also strongly condemned the killing of Pandita and called for stern action against the terrorists. Chairman of Peoples Conference, Sajjad Lone, while condemning the killing said that gun culture is a curse. “Yet again gunmen attack a non-combatant. This gun is a curse. Just ponder. Since the day this menace came to Kashmir. What have we seen? In a nutshell total disempowerment of Kashmiris. Dear gunmen, can you please go back to where you came from? We have had enough”, he tweeted.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 Unarmed Kashmiri Pandit sarpanch killed by terrorists in Anantnag – Jun 10, 2020, PGurus.com