BJP men’s killing in Kashmir: Party says cops ignored request for security

Meanwhile, some family members and friends expressed surprise at the deceased people’s involvement with BJP

Crowd gathered outside the house of one of the three slain BJP members near Srinagar on Saturday. Photo: Twitter

A day after three BJP members were killed by suspected militants in YK Pora near Srinagar, the party spokesperson has blamed Jammu & Kashmir Police for turning down its request for security for two of the three slain party office-bearers.

The funeral processions for the three men drew massive crowds on Friday. The local imam prayed for peace and an end to violence in the valley.

Meanwhile, some family members and friends expressed surprise at the deceased people’s involvement with BJP.

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Fida Hussain (29), Haroon Rashid (22) and Umer Ramzan (24) were shot dead at YK Pora Thursday night. Police statement, quoting the witness, said the three had parked their car in the Reshipora locality of YK Pora, located about 70 kms from Srinagar, when the militants (2-3 in number) drove to the spot and opened fire at them. The three men were declared dead upon arrival at the nearest hospital.

Police suspect the involvement of three militants, including two local residents and a Pakistani national. Police said the attackers were members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has claimed responsibility for the attack.

About 13 BJP members have been killed in Kashmir this year alone.

Kashmir BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur on Friday accused J&K Police of ignoring the party’s requests for security for its members. “Our district president held a press conference last week asking the J&K Police to provide security to two of our party workers. That did not happen. Now three dear colleagues have been killed,” said Thakur.

Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Division) Vijay Kumar, who visited the spot on Friday, said, “Mr Fida Hussain was among 1,619 people who were taken into police protection ahead of 5 August last year (when Article 370 was revoked). He was lodged at Hotel Dolphin in Pahalgam where he was provided security. A few weeks later, he left the hotel for his home after signing an undertaking. We are having discussions about what he was doing in a car so far from his home,” said Kumar.

“Hussain was resourceful and helped us get things done. So we knew he was close to the government but we were not sure in what capacity,” said a neighbour of Hussain.