A municipality office in Jammu and Kashmir's terror-hit Shopian district was set on fire by unidentified people days this evening, days after the controversial local body elections held in the state. Most of the building was gutted, eyewitnesses said. The two major parties of the state - National Conference and the Peoples' Democratic Party, had boycotted the elections, held amid threats from terrorist groups earlier this month.
The BJP had swept the polls, emerging victorious in four districts of south Kashmir by winning 53 of the 132 wards. In Shopian, the party won 13 of the municipality's 17 seats unopposed as both contestants and voters chose to stay away from the elections. No nominations were received for the four remaining seats, election officials had said.
The PDP and the National Conference - which boycotted the elections citing uncertainty over the Centre's stand on Article 35A of the Constitution -- have called the election a "mockery" of democratic process. Governor Satyapal Malik, who was tasked with holding peaceful elections, however, brushed away their contention, saying "Kashmir is not only these two parties".
The attack on the civic office comes in the wake of a string of terror attacks in south Kashmir.
Yesterday, a police officer was shot dead at Wahibugh in Pulwama district. In another attack, a People's Democratic Party activist was killed on the outskirts of Srinagar.
After 10 terrorists were killed in three attacks last week, a video has surfaced in which gun-toting terrorists are seen leading slogan shouting crowds at the funeral of a terrorist in Shopian district.
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