Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has expressed “deep concern” over the two political killings in the Kashmir valley in a week and said there is no justification for such murders.
He was referring to the murder of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Pulwama district chief Abdul Gani Dar on Monday and National Conference worker Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan in Shopian on April 17.
“Secret killings will lead us to chaos. Killing merely for political affiliations or for one’s political ideology is against the teachings of Islam,” Geelani said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Dar was shot dead at close range by militants on the day Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security situation amid mounting tension and clashes between civilians and security forces in Kashmir.
Dar was travelling in a car when 3 motorcycle-borne militants opened fire on him and escaped. The 64-year-old lawyer was the senior most PDP leader to be killed by militants so far. He is survived by his wife and son Owais Gani, who is an inspector in the Jammu and Kashmir police.
No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.
On April 17, suspected militants killed NC activist Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan at Pinjoora village of Shopian in south Kashmir. Khan was also a lawyer and worked as a public prosecutor for the state government.
Kashmir has been rocked by massive street protests in recent months, especially after 8 people were killed during an assembly election bypoll in Srinagar that saw the lowest turnout in decades.
Several leaders of the PDP have expressed fear that their base in Kashmir is fast eroding because of the party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its stance on the protests.