The body of a sarpanch, who was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on Friday night, was found in Sopore area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Saturday.
Body of Ghulam Mohammad Mir (62) was recovered from a field in Shalabugh area of Sopore town, police said.
Mir was abducted by six gunmen from his residence in Tarzoo area of Sopore town at around 9pm on Friday night, a police official said.
Mir's family lodged a complaint with police following which a search operation was launched. The kidnapping cane three days after Sopore Assembly segment went to polls in the third phase.
This is the second sarpanch killing during the ongoing assembly elections.
On November 30, sarpanch Mohammad Sultan Bhat was shot dead in Shopian district. Another sarpanch was attacked in the run up to third phase of polling.
While the grassroot representatives have always been soft targets of militants in the valley, more than 12 panchs and sarpanches have been killed in Kashmir since panchayat elections took place in 2011.
While condemning the killing, All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference chairman Shafiq Mir said that militants and other antidemocratic forces must read the writings on wall and shun the path of violence against the people of the state having opposite ideology. "They (militants) should realize that the people of the state have rejected their ideology and have proven their full faith in the democratic system. We will not let them to kill our leaders any more we will raise a banner of revolt against them soon if they didn’t stop attacks on our leaders," said Mir.
The apple town, hitherto known as separatist stronghold, saw a turnout of 30%, which was 10% higher than 2008 assembly elections.