Apni Party leader Ghulam Hassan Lone was shot dead by militants on Thursday evening in his home at Devsar area in in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district around 60 km south of Srinagar.
Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir condemned the killing saying attacks on mainstream leaders are worrying.
Lone was shifted to hospital where he was declared brought dead. Lone had joined Apni Party four months ago after resigning from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
This is the fourth attack on mainstream leaders in J&K in the past 10 days.
On August 17, militants shot dead BJP constituency president in Kulgam Javed Ahmad Dar. On August 13, militants hurled a grenade at the house of BJP leader Jasbir Singh, 36, when he and his brother Balbir Singh’s families were sitting in the gallery of the house in Rajouri, wounding seven members of the two families. Later four-year-old nephew of the BJP leader succumbed to the injuries at the government college Rajouri.
Earlier, on August 9, militants entered into the rented accommodation of the BJP leader Ghulam Rasool Dar (Sarpanch) of Redwani Kulgam at Lal Chowk Anantnag and fired indiscriminately killing both Dar and his wife Jawahira, who was BJP panch of her area.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said this renewed trend of targeting mainstream politicians by militant outfits is very worrying.
"Unfortunately there seems to be no end to the spree of political killings in Kashmir. Unreservedly condemn the killing of Apni party leader Ghulam Hassan Lone. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family," former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari expressed profound grief over the barbaric killing of Apni Party’s prominent worker Ghulam Hassan Lone who was shot dead in Devsar-Kulgam.
In a statement issued here, Bukhari termed the news as extremely unfortunate while saying that such attacks are intended to stop the current ongoing peace process in J&K.
“These reprehensible acts of violence are going to yield nothing but they only add to the sufferings of the people. Nothing can justify the cold blooded innocent killing of a political worker who was just trying to resolve the pressing issues of the people of his area,” he said.
Bukhari said that his Party has always reiterated that violence in any of its manifestations and motivated by any of the extremist ideologies in the world only begets violence and yields nothing positive for a human civilization.
“This is a moment of utter grief and gloom for Apni Party wherein we have lost a valuable member to this insane cycle of violence. We pray for eternal peace to the deceased and endurance to the family to bear this huge and irreparable loss,” he said.
Strongly condemning the killing of the Apni Party leader, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone said the spate of attacks on mainstream leaders is worrying. “Violence only brings miseries to people. Such killings only create more widows and orphans. These heinous acts must cease,” he added.
General Secretary, Peoples Conference, Imran Reza Ansari said, “killing of mainstream leaders for their affiliation is the worst abuse of human rights. Such senseless and barbaric acts of violence must stop immediately.”
The BJP says at least 23 BJP workers have been killed in different militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir in the past two years and in Kulgam alone nine workers of the BJP have been killed.