Top ruling party leader shot dead in Indian-controlled Kashmir

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-24 20:24

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir - A top leader of Indian-controlled Kashmir's ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) was shot dead by suspected militants Monday, hours after the state's Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to press for a dialogue with separatists.

A police official said Abdul Gani Dar, the Pulwama district unit chief of the PDP, was shot thrice in his chest by militants who waylaid his car while he was travelling to capital Srinagar.

"Dar was shot at when he was in the Pinglana area. He was rushed to a local hospital in capital Srinagar, some 30 km away, where he was declared brought dead by doctors. A massive manhunt has been launched to nab the assailants," the official said, on condition of anonymity.

Following the attack contingents of police and army rushed to the spot to carry out searches for the assailants. However, reports said the attackers fled the spot immediately.

PDP is currently heading a coalition government with support of rightwing Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Earlier in the day, the chief minister of Indian-controlled Kashmir met Modi in the national capital amid the deteriorating security situation in the state and strains in the coalition government of PDP and the BJP.

During her meeting with the prime minister, Mufti stressed the need for initiating talks with separatist leaders of Indian-controlled Kashmir but only after normalcy is restored in the state.

Mufti said she has also urged the prime minister to follow on the footsteps of BJP's former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and reach out to the disillusioned and angry youth, which would help restore normacly in the state.

A growing anger against the state has seen civilians, mainly youths, forming mobs that attack security forces with stones. But the PDP and the BJP coalition government in Kashmir are not on the same page on the issue of dealing with the growing trend of stone-pelting.

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