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J-K: BJP leader alleges Pak hand in terror attack on tourist couple

Jammu: A day after a former panchayat official was shot dead by terrorists in South Kashmir's Shopian and a tourist couple from Rajasthan injured in a separate terror strike in Anantnag, former deputy chief minister of the erstwhile state, Kavinder Gupta, said on Sunday said the attack was aimed at disturbing and hurting tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to ANI on Sunday, the senior BJP leader said, "There was a record tourist footfall in Kashmir last year, with the number of visitors estimated at 1,70,00,000. Hence, at a time when tourism is looking up and local businesses and livelihoods are booming, the attack was aimed at bringing back the dark days of terror in the region. It was intended to hurt the tourism prospects at a time when there is prosperity all around in Kashmir. I strongly suspect Pakistan to be behind this attack. However, the nefarious designs of people, who carry out terror hits in exchange for money and at the behest of their handlers (across the border) wouldn't succeed. Their bid to bring back the reign of terror in the Valley will never succeed."
"It should be kept in mind in this context that these people (terrorists) no longer enjoy local support as they used to earlier," the former deputy CM told ANI.
A tourist couple from the Rajasthan capital, Jaipur, were injured in a terror attack in the Yannar area of South Kashmir's Anantnag district on Saturday night.
"Terrorists fired upon and injured a woman, Farha, a resident of Jaipur, and her spouse, Tabrez, at Yannar in Anantnag. The injured were evacuated and rushed to a nearby hospital," a police officer said.
The condition of the injured tourists was said to be stable.
In a separate attack barely minutes apart in Shopian, terrorists shot dead a former Sarpanch from the BJP.
Condemning the killing of their party leader, identified as Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh, at Heerpora in Shopian, the BJP on Saturday pledged support and solidarity with the kin of the deceased.
"We strongly condemn the killing of ex-Sarpanch Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh in Heerpora, Shopian, by terrorists today (Saturday)," Sajid Yousuf Shah, the in-charge of the BJP's media cell in Jammu and Kashmir, posted from his X handle.
"He was a brave soldier of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Jammu & Kashmir. The BJP firmly stands with the family of Aijaz Ahmad, who lost his life in this terror attack," he added.
According to police, unidentified gunmen pumped lead into Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh at Heerpora in the Shopian district late on Saturday late evening. He was rushed to a local hospital but succumbed to his injuries on arrival.
"BJP leader and ex-Sarpanch Aijaz Ahmad Sheikh succumbed to his injuries after being fired upon by terrorists in Heerpora in South Kashmir's Shopian," IGP Kashmir said.

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