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Amnesty denounces Kashmir village head’s killing

Srinagar : An attack by a suspected armed group on a sarpanch (village head) in Jammu and Kashmir demonstrates disregard for human life, Amnesty International India said on Friday.

According to media reports, gunmen fired at 43-year-old Mohammad Yusuf Bhat on Wednesday night when he was on his way to a mosque for prayers. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

The incident took place in Wagum village in Pulwama district. No group has claimed responsibility for the killing.

Amnesty International said it consistently opposes human rights abuses committed by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Authorities must bring the perpetrators in the shooting to justice in proceedings that meet international fair trial standards,” Amnesty said in a statement.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Amnesty strongly opposed the continuation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives sweeping powers to the army and central paramilitary forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the media in Srinagar on Thursday that the AFSPA would continue in the state till the situation became conducive for its revocation.