BJP worker killed in IIOJK attack

Police name the victim as Aijaz Ahmad, a local leader of the ruling ruling party in Shopian

AFP May 19, 2024

Suspected rebels shot dead an activist from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), local authorities said on Sunday after the latest violent attack in the disputed region.

Police named the victim as Aijaz Ahmad, a local leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who was fired upon in Shopian district on Saturday evening, days after the occupied region began voting in India's six-week national elections.

The BJP's local office in IIOJK confirmed Sunday that Ahmad had died and announced plans to stage a protest against the attack.

Read: Pak calls for peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute

Two Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan territory were also wounded in a separate attack in nearby Anantnag on the same day, police said, adding that both had been hospitalised.

Security forces had cordoned off the surrounding area to find those responsible for separate incidents, police said.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947, with both claiming the Himalayan territory in full.

Freedom fighters opposed to Indian rule have for decades waged an insurgency in IIOJK, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan.

The conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers and separatists dead.

Read: Indian Air Force corporal killed in attack in IIOJK

Violence has drastically reduced since 2019, when Modi's government cancelled the Muslim-majority region's limited autonomy and brought it under direct rule from New Delhi.

Security forces have reported a spate of clashes in IIOJK since voting began last month in ongoing general election.

Earlier this month, suspected rebels killed an Indian air force member and injured four others in an ambush on a military convoy.


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