Kashmir: Militants murdered former sarpanch to create fear among political workers, cops say

The bullet-ridden body of an active National Conference worker was recovered today. Cops say the murder, committed a few weeks before by-polls to two Parliamentary constituencies, was committed to create an atmosphere of fear.

A bullet ridden body of a National Conference worker was recovered from a field in the Chiwa Kalan Village of South Kashmir's Pulwama District today.

The deceased, Fayaz Ahmad, is a former sarpanch and his killing is the first political murder since the dates for by-polls in two Parliamentary constituencies in Kashmir were announced.

Ahmad was an active worker for the National Conference and was allegedly abducted by unidentified gunmen from his residence on Sunday night. His body, which had bullet marks from an AK-47 on the chest and face, was recovered by the police a few hours later on Monday Morning.

After a postmortem, police handed over the body to Ahmad's family for last rites. An investigation into the killing has been launched and cops suspect that militants were behind the murder.

One local police officer said, "(The killing was) to target political workers of mainstream political parties in the Valley, and to create atmosphere of fear among political workers before elections."

The murder comes soon after alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen militants pasted threatening posters in several south Kashmir villages, warning people to stay away the election process.

Local panchayat elections are also due soon. The by-polls, for Srinagar and Anathnag Parliamentary constituencies, will be held on April 9 and 12, respectively.

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