Suspected militants on Sunday gunned down a sarpanch affiliated to the National Conference in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Javed Ahmed Wani was shot at and critically injured by the suspected militants inside his house in the Kreeri area of Baramullaat around 7:40 PM, they said. Mr. Wani was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to injuries.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the killing of the sarpanch.

This is the fifth instance in the last six months in which a sarpanch has been killed in the state.

While three sarpanches were killed in September last year, another was shot dead in January.

The killing of Wani was the second such incident this year. On January 11, sarpanch Habibullah Mir was shot dead in Sopore township of Baramulla district in north Kashmir, prompting Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to order more security to panchayat heads.

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