It was the first attack on mainstream politician in Kashmir ahead of parliamentary polls when militants struck the house of Youth National Conference’s (YNC) leader and organiser south Kashmir Yawar Masoodi.

Yawar, 32, escaped unhurt when he managed to move out from backyard, but two cops guarding his premises did not survive the attack. In retaliation, the attackers were neutralised in next two hours.

Moments before the attack, Yawar was busy with some of his workers in his Babapora residence in Khrew. They were planning the road show of NC minister Ali Mohammad Sagar in the area. In the midst of the preparations they heard gunshots and cries.

Reports said that militants made a bid to get into the house but failed. They instantly fled from the spot and decamped with an SLR from the cops. Kashmir Police chief said that the target was weapons and not Yawar.

Son of Jammu and Kashmir High Court judge Justice Hasnain Masoodi, Yawar was recently inducted by NC in its youth wing. The ruling NC reconstituted the party’s youth wing, ahead of the 2014 Assembly polls, after more than six years. Yawar was one among the dozen new faces the party entrusted with important positions in the YNC.

A law graduate, Yawar has worked in New Delhi for two years before deciding to follow his passion for politics. Yawar’s decision to join NC was influenced by the “historic role played by the party” in shaping the future of the state.

In order to help him gain experience in election related issues, Yawar was recently appointed as the party’s organizer for the south Kashmir Islamabad Lok Sabha seat.

Yawar was visited by Dr Farooq Abdullah last year, who introduced him as the new party man for the belt. NC is projecting him as the new candidate is the assembly elections for Pampore assembly segment that it has lost thrice in recent past.

Director General Police (DGP) Ashok Prasad said Yawar could have been the target but the attack was carried on police picket only. He said it was yet to be ascertained whether militants tried to enter inside the house or not.

However, tech savvy Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said in his tweet that the attack was aimed at the NC youth leader. Omar said that the militant attack was evidence of the risk involved in being in mainstream politics in Kashmir.

– Bilal Handoo


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