BJP youth leader killed in south Kashmir’s Shopian, police hint at militant link | india news | Hindustan Times
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BJP youth leader killed in south Kashmir’s Shopian, police hint at militant link

The killing is the latest strike by militants in the restive border state after the central government relaunched the dialogue process on October 23.

india Updated: Nov 02, 2017 23:22 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Soldiers take position outside a house where militants were hiding during an encounter --- in which top three Hizbul Mujahideen Commanders and two Army soldiers were killed --- at Awneera in Shopian district of south Kashmir.
Soldiers take position outside a house where militants were hiding during an encounter --- in which top three Hizbul Mujahideen Commanders and two Army soldiers were killed --- at Awneera in Shopian district of south Kashmir.(PTI FILE)

The body of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth leader was found with his throat slit in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Thursday, with police hinting at the involvement of militants.

Police said the body of Gowhar Hussain Bhat, the 30-year-old BJP president of Shopian district, was found in Kiloora area.

The incident comes more than two weeks after suspected militants shot dead a worker of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the same district.

BJP president Amit Shah said “terrorists must realise that they cannot stop the youth of the valley from choosing a better future for themselves”.

BJP’s Ram Madhav said this was the price “we pay in our fight against terrorism”, offering his condolences.

A police official said the body was recovered from a field. “We are trying to ascertain what happened...Such types of killings...are done by militants,” he added.

Senior Kashmir BJP leader Altaf Thakur said Bhat was abducted by militants from his house around 6pm in the evening. “His body was later found just a kilometre away,” he added.

“He was very active in the party. His role in organising a BJP youth convention recently in Srinagar was also highly appreciated,” Thakur said.

The killing is the latest strike by militants in the border state after the Centre relaunched the dialogue process.

On October 16, militants had shot dead PDP worker and former sarpanch, Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh, 50. As the family of Sheikh resisted, one of the militants also died in the incident.

The government picked former Intelligence Bureau chief, Dineshwar Sharma, on October 23 to talk to all stakeholders to find a solution to the 30-year-old Kashmir insurgency.

Sharma is expected in Kashmir in the coming days. In the past, militants have targeted member of the Peoples Democratic Party, the BJP’s senior alliance partner in the state.

Restive region

Shopian district in south Kashmir is strategically located en-route to the historical Mughal road and can provide free access to militants to cross over to Doda, Kishtawar and Poonch area of Jammu, said a PTI report in October.

More than 37 young men have left their homes in Shopian and believed to have joined militant groups security forces killed Burhan Wani, a leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, in July 2016.

Three militants, including Wani’s successor, were killed in an overnight gunfight that also left two soldiers dead in Shopian in August 2017.

Kashmir has seen a surge in street protests and gunfights between security forces and militants after Wani was killed.