South Kashmir based Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo has issued an audio clip in which he has threatened to pour acid in the eyes of those who would participate in the upcoming panchayat elections in Kashmir.
“You saw in 2016 how many youth lost their eye sights (to pellets). That is why we have planned …whosoever fights elections, he will be dragged out of his home and concentrated acid –sulphuric or hydrochloric acid – will be poured into his eyes so that he loses his eyesight and becomes a burden for his families for life,” Naikoo was heard saying in the clip reports The Hindustan Times.
The panchayat polls could not be held in 2016 following the violence after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was gunned down by the security forces. They are scheduled to take place from February 15.
Last time, the Panchayat elections were held in 2011 with a record turnout of 80%.
Reacting sharply to the threat, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted. “If it isn’t pellets it’s acid. One way or the other people are threatened with being blinded.”
If it isn’t pellets it’s acid. One way or the other people are threatened with being blinded. https://t.co/2HiXI5um3i— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) January 8, 2018
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had in December decided to hold panchayat elections from February 15. Officials said elections will be held for more than 4,500 panchayats.
(With Agency inputs)