Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Shabir Ahmad Bhat, who went missing on Tuesday (August 21), was found dead in Pulwama on Wednesday (August 22).

The 26-year-old saffron party leader was abducted by unidentified gunmen while he was returning from Srinagar. The BJP leader lived in a rented house in Srinagar and was a protected person.

He was kidnapped by militants when he was returning home in Pulwama to celebrate Eid on Tuesday evening, reported Hindustan Times.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a massive manhunt but could not trace him.

He was later shot dead by terrorists at around 2:30 am, following which his body was recovered from the Rakh-e-litter area, NDTV reported.

Bhat's abduction and murder came just a few days after the government announced municipal and panchayat elections in the state. A senior police officer said that they "are investigating the circumstances of the killing of BJP leader."

Shabir Ahmad Bhat
Shabir Ahmad Bhat.ANI

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the BJP in Kashmir has spoken highly of Bhat. "He (Bhat) was our constituency president and dedicated leader. He had gone to his home to celebrate Eid with his family but was abducted by militants and then killed," HT quoted Altaf Thakur as saying.

This is not the first time that a BJP leader has been killed by terrorists in Kashmir. In 2017, the district president of the BJP's youth wing, Gowhar Ahmed Bhat, was killed by terrorists. The 30-year-old's body was found with his throat slashed at an orchard in Shopian's Kiloora.