SRINAGAR: A BJP Municipal Council Tral member has been shot by gunmen in Tral leading the police to cordon the area.
The BJP leader was identified as Rakesh Pandit, son of Brij Nath Pandit. Reports said he was injured seriously and later succumbed at the hospital. He represented Tral Bala C, the area he was born at.
Police and the paramilitary forces have laid a cordon and searches of the area are going on.
Kashmir Zone Police tweeted about the incident stating that the councillor went to Tral without his two PSOs.
“Despite having two PSOs and secured hotel accommodation in Srinagar, the councillor went to Tral without PSOs,” the police tweet reads.
An unconfirmed report said a resident, a female has also received a bullet injury in the attack. It is said that she is the daughter of the neighbour of Pandita. Identified as Asifa, daughter of Pandita’s friend, Mushtaq Ahmad, she has been admitted to the local hospital.
Rakesh was a sales agent of SAIL and a municipal councillor. He was living in Srinagar but had gone to see his friends in Tral. He had left his security detail behind. Reports said that after winning with the migrant votes in 2018, Pandits would spend time in Tral.
BJP has strongly condemned the killing insisting the “barbaric” attacks would not stop BJP leaders from serving the people. Altaf Thakur said attacking unarmed people is no bravery.
Later in the night, police issued a statement saying three unidentified militants indiscriminately upon a Municipal Councillor of Tral town namely Rakesh Pandita son of Somnath resident of Tral Bala who was visiting his friend at Tral Payeen at 2215 hours. In the attack, he and the daughter of his friend received serious gunshot injuries. “Rakesh Pandita succumbed to his injuries while another injured person has been shifted to hospital for treatment of her injuries,” the spokesman said.
Saddened to hear about the terror attack on the Councillor Shri Rakesh Pandita at Tral, Pulwama. I strongly condemn the attack. My condolences to bereaved family in this time of grief.— Office of LG J&K (@OfficeOfLGJandK) June 2, 2021
The police said the deceased was a protected person and two PSOs were deployed for his security and secured accommodation was also provided to him at Srinagar. However, at the time of the incident, he was without any security as he defied the SOPs and went to his native village without PSOs. Police said they have registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law.
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.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) June 2, 2021
Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, PDP president ms Mehbooba Mufti and Peoples Conference Sajad Lone have condemned the killing.