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Slain BDC chairman cremated in Jammu

JAMMU: Amid a pall of gloom, the mortal remains of Block Development Council Chairman Bhupinder Singh, who was killed by terrorists in Kashmir's Budgam district, were cremated here on Thursday.

Singh, who was BDC chairman of Khag block, left for his ancestral home alone on Wednesday, without informing the police, after dropping his Personal Security Officers (PSOs) at Khag Police Station. The terrorists shot Singh at around 7.45 pm and he died on the spot.

When his body reached his home in Sainik colony from Budgam, Singh''s family members were inconsolable. Despite the threat of coronavirus, a large number of people, including top leaders, reached his house to pay their respects.

The body was taken to Shastri Nagar cremation ground and the last rites were performed on Thursday evening.

The family demanded a probe into his killing, claiming that there was a security lapse.

"My father unfurled the national flag on August 15 in Kashmir. He was under threat and there was a security lapse. We demand a probe into it," Singh''s son Amandeep Singh told reporters here.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina hit out at Pakistan for the killing, saying that the neighbouring nation and its terrorist outfits were engineering a bloodbath in Kashmir.

"Singh''s killing exposes the brutality of Pakistan and the world should look into it," he told reporters.

The people of Kashmir want democracy to flower in Kashmir and they have rejected guns, he said.

"By killing democratic leaders and targeting panches and sarpanches, they cannot derail the peace process and initiative of normalcy," he said.

Expressing grave concern over the killings of political workers in the Valley, J&K Congress chief Gulam Ahmed Mir strongly condemned the killing of Singh.

He alleged that killing of public representatives was a failure of the Centre and UT administration and they were unable to provide proper security to them.

Mir said that the government has failed to provide security and a conducive political environment for any political activity and added that people, especially political workers, are feeling insecure in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The All Jammu Kashmir Panchayat Conference (AJKPC) said such mindless killings will not deter elected panchayat members from serving the people at grassroots level.

Anil Sharma, the president of AJKPC who visited Singh''s family members, also questioned the government for its "casual approach" while dealing with the security of elected panchayat members.

He said that they wanted to tell terrorist groups that they will not succeed in their nefarious designs of derailing grassroots democratic institutions in Jammu and Kashmir.

"So far, 21 panchayat members have sacrificed their lives for strengthening the grassroots level democracy and they will continue to march on this path till the last breath of their life," Sharma said.

"We demand a probe into the killing of Singh who was serving the people of Kashmir. Why did the people not save him from terrorists," All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) Chairman Vinood Pandita asked.

Condemning the killing, Panun Kashmir said that it is was a pre-planned killing of a minority Sikh who was serving the locals.


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