Two workers of the National Conference, Nazir Bhat and Mushtaq Wani, died after terrorists opened fire in the heart of Srinagar on Friday. Another party worker has been critically injured. Leaders of the National Conference (NC) and People's Democratic Party (PDP) - Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti - have strongly condemned the killings.
The terrorists fired from a close range in the Karfali Mohalla area of the city, said the police. The incident comes just two days ahead of polling for the first phase of elections for urban local bodies in Jammu and Kashmir.
The political workers have been killed were close to sitting NC lawmaker of Shameema, Jabbar Kadal. "I cannot condemn strongly enough the murderous terrorist attack against three of my party workers," tweeted Omar Abdullah.
I cannot condemn strongly enough the murderous terrorist attack against three of my party workers. Nazir Ahmed Bhat (working in the office of MLA Shamima Firdous) & Mushtaq Ahmed Wani have been killed. Allah Jannat naseeb karey.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 5, 2018
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet said, "Pained to hear about the killing of two NC workers. My heart goes out to their families and children."
Pained to hear about the killing of two NC workers . My heart goes out to their families & children . Cannot possibly imagine what they must be going through .— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 5, 2018
Police sources have told NDTV that an arm of the terror group Hizbul Mujahideen is suspected to be behind the attack.
The first phase of polling for the local body elections will be held on October 8, followed by the second phase on October 10, third phase on October 13 and the final phase on October 16. The counting of votes will be taken up on October 20.
Both NC and PDP are boycotting the elections over Section 35A, which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The parties have said they will not participate in the election process until the Centre clears its stand on Section 35A, which is being challenged in the Supreme Court.
On Thursday, 13 BJP candidates won unopposed in the municipal corporation elections in militancy-infested Shopian district of south Kashmir, with most people preferring to maintain a distance from the electoral exercise following threats by terror groups.