Ghulam Nabi Azad cancels rally after Sarpanch killing in Jammu and Kashmir


Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has cancelled his campaign rally in a town in Jammu and Kashmir where a sarpanch, or village head, was killed on Monday night.

Ghulam Nabi Mir, a Sarpanch from the Congress party, was killed when militants barged into his home and opened fire. His son was critically injured and later died.

Sources say Mir was among the main organisers of Mr. Azad’s rally in the Tral town of south Kashmir. The region goes to polls in the sixth phase of the national election on Thursday.

This is the second Sarpanch to be killed in three days. Militants and separatist groups have given a call to boycott polling in the state, which has six parliamentary seats.

A sarpanch affiliated to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party was shot dead by suspected militants in Pulwama district on Thursday.

Alleged militants knocked on Mohammad Amin Pandith’s door late at night and asked him to come out to “discuss poll-related issues”. They shot him dead as soon as he reached the main gate of his home.