Former Sarpanch shot dead in Kashmir

Srinagar: A former Sarpanch (village headman) was shot dead by guerrillas in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Sunday, police said. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, who was from the National Conference, was shot and seriously injured and died on way to hospital. "Militants barged into the house of Fayaz Ahmad Bhat in Kandizal village of Pulwama today (Sunday) afternoon and shot him from close range. "He was shifted to hospital in a critical condition where doctors declared him dead," a senior police officer said here. The term of the elected representatives of village Panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir ended in May this year. Although the 2011 Panchayat elections were fought on a non-party basis, all mainstream political parties had fielded their candidates without any formal party mandates. But ever since the polls, the elected representatives of these grassroots level institutions have been targeted by the militants from time to time.