Earlier this week, Ajay Pandita, the only Hindu elected to office in the Kashmir Valley, was shot dead by terrorists from the newly renamed Laskhar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, The Resistance Front.
LeT, a US State Department designated terrorist organization, has long received direction, training, and logistical support from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. The group has been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks in India, including the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people.
In response to Pandita’s murder, HAF Board Member Rajiv Pandit stated:
“The Resistance Front is simply an attempt by terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba to rebrand themselves, to circumvent restrictions, sound secular and obscure their violent past. They are targeting civilians, including journalists, and anyone else explaining India’s perspective.”
Pandit added: “My condolences to the family and friends of Ajay Pandita. He sacrificed his life for democracy in Kashmir. HAF stands with you in this time of grief. Violence will never win.”
HAF further denounces the Jammu and Kashmir government’s failure to provide security to Pandita and other local elected officials, and called on the Jammu and Kashmir police to conduct a thorough and expedited investigation.