J&K: Sarpanch shot dead by suspected militants in Sopore, polling for fifth phase underway

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Srinagar, Dec 20: As the last phase Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections is going on, suspected militants shot dead a sarpanch in Sopore township of north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Friday.

Ghulam Ahmad Bhat (65), a resident of Bomai, was fired upon by unidentified gunmen near the main chowk in the village, causing serious injuries to him, police said.

J&K: Sopore Sarpanch shot dead by suspected militants.
They said Bhat was rushed to SMHS Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Police have launched a hunt to nab the assailants. No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the killing.

Bhat is the fourth Panchayat member to have been killed during the past one month in Jammu and Kashmir. The recent killing is seen as yet another attempt by militants to disrupt the poll process in the state.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Jammu, terrorists on Saturday killed a village Sarpanch in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla district.

[Read: Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Elections 2014 Special Coverage]

The body of the village headman kidnapped by gunmen from his house was found on Saturday in a field in Sopore area, police said.

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped Ghulam Muhammad Mir, 62, Sarpanch of Hygam village in Baramulla on Friday night. Mir was a National Conference Sarpanch. As per reports, 6-7 gunned militants entered his house on Friday evening and kidnapped the Sarpanch.

Ever since panchayat polls started in the state in 2011, after a gap of 20 years, separatist militants have been targeting village heads in Jammu and Kashmir.

These killings are believed to instil fear among people so that they stay away from the democratic process. Even Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted about the same and said, " A sarpanch shot dead, this time in the Sopore region. Another grim reminder of the risks associated with fighting an election."

Despite poll boycott called by separatist groups, voters in the Valley defied threats and came out in huge numbers on exercise their voting franchise in the ongoing assembly polls.

While four phases of the assembly polls have been successfully completed, polling for the fifth and the final phase in which Approximately 213 candidates, including Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand and 4 other ministers, will be competing it out for 20 Legislative Assembly seats is goin on in Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from agencies)

OneIndia News 

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