Anantnag: Days after her father was killed by terrorists in Kashmir’s Anantnag, Niyanta Pandita, daughter of Sarpanch Ajay Pandita Bharti, said she will follow the footsteps of her brave father who loved his country and was a true patriot. Also Read - Ajay Pandita Killing in Kashmir: Preity Zinta Pours Heart Out Over Death of J&K Sarpanch

Ajay Pandita Bharti, a Sarpanch in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, was shot from a close range by terrorists while he was in his orchard. He was taken to a hospital following the incident, but couldn’t be saved.

Niyanta said the family currently in Jammu will soon be moving back to Kashmir. “My father was brave and I too have to be brave, we will not allow anybody to snatch our rights,” she told IANS.

Calling the terrorists ‘cowards’, she said that they didn’t have guts to face him and that’s why they shot him from behind. “They could have shot him in the chest, but they fired from the back at his head, it is simply a case of cowardice,” she said.

She also raised questions as to why his father didn’ get security cover from the government despite his demands and lamented that such an incident wouldn’t have happened if his concerns were heard.

She said the incident should serve as a lesson for the government that people’s concerns must not be taken lightly otherwise the results could be very bad.

“We are a family of lions, we are not scared of anybody. But everybody is concerned about family’s safety. My father wasn’t scared for himself, but was concerned about his family, everybody is bothered about his family and strives for their safety and protection. Whatever the government deems right regarding giving security to sarpanchs, it must do that, I don’t want a similar tragedy repeated in Kashmir,” she said.

The 40-year-old Congress member Ajay Pandita was the sarpanch of the Lukbawan Panchayat in Anantnag district. He was cremated in Jammu on June 9 in the presence of scores of mourners.

(With IANS inputs)