Twenty-three BJP leaders or functionaries have been attacked or killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir over the past two years, the party said Wednesday, a day after Javid Ahmad Dar was shot dead in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district; Mr Dar was the party’s constituency in-charge for Kulgam.
“In the last two years 23 BJP leaders or workers have been killed. It is high time for police to provide security and ensure workers’ safety,” Altaf Thakur, the party’s J&K spokesperson, said.
“The killing of innocents is an act of frustration,” he also said, as he urged police to capture the killers.
Tweet@ Altaf Thakur# In last 2 years 21 BJP leaders/ activists killed. In past one year alone, seven deaths of BJP leaders/workers reported in Kulgam district alone A matter of serious concern. High time for police to book culprits and to provide safe and secure accommodation .
— Altaf Thakur (@altaf_thakur) August 17, 2021
The series of killings, it has been pointed out, coincide with the government’s August 2019 decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and divide it into two union territories.
Soon after Mr Dar’s killing a police statement on lack of security angered the BJP.
The police had said Mr Dar was a contractor by profession and that the party had never shared his name and contact details with them so they could provide security protection.
“Terrorists barged into the house of a civilian identified as Javid Ahmad Dar… a contractor by profession. They fired indiscriminately upon him. In this terror incident he receieved critical gunshot injuries and died on the spot,” a police statement said.
“As claimed by BJP party spokesman, deceased person was BJP worker. As per district police no one approached us for security cover… even the local BJP leader didn’t share his name in the list of PPs (protected persons),” the police further said.
The BJP hit back by releasing a letter to the Kulgam District Magistrate and police, asking for accommodation and security for Mr Dar and other BJP workers in the district.
“Yesterday police said they had no knowledge about him being linked to BJP and that the BJP did not give his name for protection. We condemn the police statement. The police did not act on our plea to provide security…” Abid Hussain Khan, President of the party’s district wing, said.
He further said nine BJP workers had been killed in Kulgam during the last two years.
Police have said an investigation to track down Mr Dar’s killers, which has been widely condemned by all political parties in Kashmir, is underway.
Javid Dar’s killing was the second of a BJP leader or functionary in seven days and third this month.
On Friday a grenade was thrown at the home of Jasbir Singh, a BJP leader from Rajouri district. Six family members, including Mr Singh, were injured and a seventh – a two-year-old child – died.
And two weeks ago Ghulam Rasool Dar, a village sarpanch and a BJP leader from Kulgam district, and his wife were shot dead in a terror attack in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town.
In June terrorists shot dead Rakesh Pandita, another BJP leader and a municipal councillor, who was at a friend’s home in Pulwama’s Tral area when three terrorists barged in and opened fire.