23 January, 2022

Political Killings in Kashmir Are Politics By Bloodier Means

Militants are killing BJP workers to keep the focus on separatism

Relatives and neighbours mourn slain BJP leader Javed Ahmad Dar in Kulgam
Photograph by Muneeb ul Islam
Political Killings in Kashmir Are Politics By Bloodier Means

Soon after the killing of Apni Party leader Ghulam Hassan Lone in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on August 19, the party’s block president Sameer Ahmad Khan took to social media to announce his resignation from the party. “I have nothing to do with politics anymore. I apologise. I should be forgiven. I have resigned from Apni Party and have no connection with any other party,” Khan said in his video message.

It’s a familiar script in the Kashmir Valley. Since 1990, around 7,000 National Conference workers have been killed. A number of PDP workers too have been killed since the party’s foundation in 1999. Since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, at least 23 BJP workers have been killed, eight of them in Kulgam district alone. The killings have created fear among party workers, leading to some resignations.

According to BJP leader Sofi Yousuf, his party is being targeted not just ­because of its growing footprint in the Valley, but also due to its leading role in the discourse of national integration and...

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