Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 23 October 2021 10.50 PM IST

Apni Party leader Ghulam Hassan Lone shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam


SRINAGAR: Terrorists Thursday shot dead an Apni Party leader in Kulgam, the third fatal attack on mainstream politicians in Jammu and Kashmir in two weeks, even as police said they have no record of latest victim Ghulam Hassan Lone''s political affiliation.

Lone, a resident of Devsar area in Kulgam district, was shot at and injured by the ultras in his native area, officials said, adding he was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries.

A police spokesman said "neither police records nor the activities of deceased indicated him to be a political worker".

"Besides, as on date no political party had indicated or intimated about his political affiliation. However, post-incident, the Apni Party has claimed that the deceased was their political worker," the spokesman said.

The police had made a similar statement following the killing of BJP worker Javaid Ahmad Dar in Kulgam district two days earlier, but the party disputed the claim and put out communications addressed to the administration seeking security cover for 30 workers including Dar.

Days before attack on Dar, two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had on August 9 barged into the house of a BJP sarpanch in Anantnag district and killed him and his wife.

Lone’s killing evoked widespread condemnation including by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and mainstream political parties such as the PDP, National Conference, Congress, the BJP and People''s Conference.

"Anguished to hear about the terror attack on political leader Shri Ghulam Hassan Lone at Devsar, Kulgam. I strongly condemn this cowardly attack," the LG tweeted.

"Perpetrators of this heinous act will be brought to justice very soon. My prayers & thoughts with bereaved family in this time of grief," he added.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, "Unfortunately there seems to be no end to the spree of political killings in Kashmir. Unreservedly condemn the killing of Apni party leader Ghulam Hassan Lone. My deepest condolences to the bereaved family."

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said the "renewed trend" of militants targeting mainstream leaders is "very worrying".

"Very sorry to hear about the assassination of Ghulam Hassan Lone in Devsar area of South Kashmir. This renewed trend of targeting mainstream politicians by militant outfits is very worrying & I condemn the same in the strongest possible terms. May Allah grant the departed Jannat," he tweeted.

People''s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone said, "Strongly condemn the killing of @Apnipartyonline leader Ghulam Hassan Lone in Kulgam. Recent spate of attacks on mainstream leaders is worrying.

"Violence only brings miseries to people. Such killings only create more widows and orphans. These heinous acts must cease," he added.

The BJP and Congress also issued statement condemning the killing and called upon the government to identify the killers and hand out exemplary punishment.

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