A controversy has kicked up in Kashmir between the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership and the police, hours after a senior BJP functionary was killed in a terrorist attack.
The BJP leadership in Kashmir is furious after the police stated that they had no information about the slain Javeed Ahmad Dar being affiliated with the saffron party.
“The district unit of BJP did not inform us if he was to be provided security since his name did not figure in the list of PPs (protected persons)," a police statement said.
Dar, a former sarpanch and incharge for Homeshalibug assembly constituency, was killed on Tuesday at his residence in Brazloo, a few kilometres away from Kulgam, when gunmen barged into his house and peppered him with bullets.
The incident was a reiteration of last week’s killing of a BJP sarpanch and his wife, who was a BJP panch, in Anantnag. A party leader was killed in Tral area of South Kashmir two months back.
Abid Hussian, BJP district president from Kulgam, rejected the claims of the police about Dar, saying his name figured at serial number 5 in the list of 30 BJP functionaries in the letter that they had forwarded to the district police head and Kulgam’s deputy commissioner. The BJP circulated the letter to media houses that was written to the two top district officials on August 10.
Altaf Thakur, spokesman for the BJP, told News18 that it was the responsibility and duty of the police to provide security and accommodation to the party workers across Kashmir valley.
He said the police were asked to provide Dar and others security and accommodation after terrorists killed two BJP leaders from Anantnag on August 9.
“The police are lying when they say they had no information about Dar’s affiliation,” Thakur said.
Khan said a day after the Anantnag killings, he had written a letter to the deputy commissioner and SSP of Kulgam seeking security and accommodation for 26 BJP leaders and workers.
He said among those on the list, a few were given safe accommodation but the district president of the constituency Javeed Ahmad Dar and others were sadly ignored.
Khan said nine BJP workers and leaders have been killed in Kulgam alone in the past two years.
He added that there are 1,270 BJP workers and nearly 600 leaders in Kulgam who require accommodation and security given the attacks.
Thakur said so far 23 leaders and workers of BJP have been killed in such attacks in recent years. Police records, however, suggest 12 listed BJP functionaries have been killed in the past two years.
Similar to the killing of two BJP workers last week, terror outfit The Resistance Front or TRF claimed responsibility for the killing of Dar. In a statement released on social media, it said its cadres will continue to take action against those who are trying to suppress the “resistance movement of Kashmiris".