BJP leader fired at in Kul­gam as curbs an­nounced in Val­ley

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - Htspotligh­t - Mir Eh­san and Ravi Kr­ish­nan Kha­juria let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Ter­ror­ists at­tacked a lo­cal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) mem­ber in south Kash­mir’s Kul­gam dis­trict on Tues­day even as au­thor­i­ties in the Union Ter­ri­tory of Jammu and Kash­mir im­posed re­stric­tions and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) an­nounced cel­e­bra­tions in Jammu to mark the first an­niver­sary of the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370, which ac­corded special sta­tus to the erst­while state.

Po­lice said the ter­ror­ists at­tacked pan­chayat chief and BJP mem­ber Arif Ah­mad at Akhran in Kul­gam dis­trict. In­spec­tor gen­eral of po­lice Vi­jay Kumar said the ter­ror­ists fired on Ah­mad. “He was shifted to emer­gency hos­pi­tal Qazi­gund. He had firearm in­jury in neck and con­di­tion is crit­i­cal.”

BJP state spokesman Altaf Thakur con­firmed the at­tack. “He (Arif) was tar­geted by the mil­i­tants in­side his house and the sarpanch has been shifted to hos­pi­tal for the treat­ment.”

In Srinagar, the gov­ern­ment said there were ap­pre­hen­sions of protests and “sub­ver­sive ac­tiv­i­ties” on Wed­nes­day. Groups of po­lice­men and paramil­i­tary per­son­nel pa­trolled the main roads and made peo­ple stay in­doors.

The gov­ern­ment re­moved the cur­few in Srinagar on Tues­day but said re­stric­tions on assem­bly and move­ment of peo­ple will con­tinue. At many places, roads were blocked with barbed wires. “We aren’t been al­lowed to come on the main road. The po­lice­men are im­pos­ing the strict cur­few with­out any re­lax­ation,’’ said Ali Mo­ham­mad who lives at Abi Guzar.

Muz­zuf­far Shah, nephew of for­mer chief min­is­ter Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah al­leged the re­stric­tions were aimed at thwart­ing a meet­ing of main­stream po­lit­i­cal lead­ers called by Ab­dul­lah on Wed­nes­day. Peo­ples Con­fer­ence chair­man Sa­j­jad Lone, who was re­leased last week, also made a veiled at­tack on the Cen­tre.

In Jammu, BJP unit pres­i­dent Ravin­der Raina an­nounced cel­e­bra­tions to mark the event. The Congress said it will urge peo­ple to dis­cuss the im­pact of the ef­fec­tive ab­ro­ga­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370.

A CRPF jawan stands guard dur­ing cur­few in Srinagar on Tues­day.

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