Mainstream politicians under attack in volatile south Kashmir : The Tribune India

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Mainstream politicians under attack in volatile south Kashmir

SRINAGAR:In the past seven days, half a dozen mainstream politicians, including legislators, have come under the attack of militants in south Kashmir.



Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 22

In the past seven days, half a dozen mainstream politicians, including legislators, have come under the attack of militants in south Kashmir.

These attacks have created fear among the political workers, especially the grass-roots workers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The latest series of attacks on mainstream leaders began with the killing of PDP worker and former sarpanch Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh on October 16. Sheikh was shot dead by militants at his home in Homhuma Imam Sahib, Shopian, and in the scuffle that followed a local militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed. A day later, a mob set ablaze Sheikh’s house.

The house of the PDP lawmaker from Wachi, Aijaz Mir, was targeted by militants on October 19. The militants lobbed a grenade on the residence of Mir. The MLA and his family were not present in the house when the attack took place. A day later, militants lobbed a grenade at the residence of PDP’s Tral legislator Muhtaq Ahmed Shah and also fired at his security guards. 

In a series of attacks on late Saturday, houses of two PDP workers, a policeman and a Territorial Army man were ransacked by militants at Pulwama and Shopian. One of the PDP workers was also beaten to pulp by militants.

One such raid was reportedly led by Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief Riyaz Naiko.

On Sunday, a CRPF officer was injured when militants targeted the house of a National Conference leader in Tral, while in Kulgam, houses of two PDP workers were ransacked.

“The recent attacks have surely created panic in the party cadre,” MLA Aijaz Mir said. PDP Tral legislator Mushtaq Shah linked the attacks to the recent police raids on militant houses in south Kashmir. 

“The attacks on PDP workers are directly the result of recent raids by security men on militant houses,” Shah said. Security forces have been accused by locals of ransacking the houses of militants in south Kashmir. 

However, a senior police officer denied ransacking the houses of militants.

Attacks linked to crackdown on ultras: MLA 

PDP Tral legislator Mushtaq Shah linked the attacks to the recent police raids on militant houses in south Kashmir. “The attacks on PDP workers are directly the result of recent raids by security men on militant houses,” Shah said. Security forces have been accused by locals of ransacking the houses of militants in south Kashmir in the past one week. However, a senior police officer denied ransacking the houses of militants.

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