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Another sarpanch shot dead in Kashmir spreading panic

September 23, 2012 22:34 IST

Suspected militants late Sunday evening shot at and killed a village sarpanch in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, triggering a new wave of panic among sarpanches.

A senior police officer said militants fired from a close range at Mohammad Shafi Teli near his home at Nowpora Kreeri village.

"Teli was immediately shifted to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," the officer said.

Senior police officers have visited the area.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the killing.

Earlier this month a sarpanch was killed by militants in nearby Palhallan village following which scores of sarpanches resigned from their posts in north Kashmir.

Various militant groups have been issuing threats through handwritten posters pasted in different villages in north and south Kashmir to the sarpanches to resign their posts or face dire consequences.

The sarpanches have been appealing the government to provide them security in view of the mounting threats.

Hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had recently expressed his disapproval for attacks on sarpanches saying, "You cannot kill a person for his political views".

Through paid advertisements in local newspapers, the sarpanches have been announcing their resignations following the repeated threats.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar