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J&K: Militants kill Congress leader

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
April 01, 2007 18:40 IST
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Late on Saturday night, militants shot and killed a senior ruling Congress party leader in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

Jan Mohammad Kakroo and his armed guard were returning after offering evening prayers at a local shrine in Baramulla when unidentified militants showed up and sprayed bullets at him.

"Kakroo died on the spot while his guard sustained serious injuries in the militant shootout," a senior police officer said.

The slain north Kashmir Congress leader was the district president of the party and office bearer of the local fruit growers association.

Kakroo's killing has come at a time when the coalition partner, People's Democratic Party has been demanding withdrawal of security forces from the urban areas of the state maintaining that the security scenario had shown marked improvement, a claim hotly contested by Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

While the central government announced a high powered expert panel, a review committee and a nodal officer to assess the security situation, Azad has firmly ruled out any immediate withdrawal of troops from the state.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar