Srinagar - Gunmen shot dead a local leader from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s ruling party in Occupied Kashmir ahead of the latest round of India´s marathon election.

The killing in Anantnag district is the latest in a string of attacks that have marred India´s staggered elections which began last month.

The gunmen opened fire on Gul Mohammad Mir, 65, who headed a local unit of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), at his house on Saturday night.

Police said a polling station to be used in the district on Monday was set ablaze in the nearby Shopian area. Voter turnout in Occupied Kashmir has barely crossed 10 percent in the previous rounds of the election and Anantnag is expected to suffer on Monday - the fifth round of voting in the six week long election which ends May 19. Results are to be released four days later.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat Forum led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front have expressed concern over the deteriorating health condition of the incarcerated JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik in Tihar jail. According to KMS, the Hurriyat forum and JKLF in their separate statements in Srinagar said that Yasin Malik was being ill-treated in Tihar jail had set off alarm bells among the masses across Kashmir. The Hurriyat Forum said that the family members of Muhammad Yasin Malik and the people of Kashmir were worried about his well-being.

The Forum said that Malik was already suffering from multiple ailments and denying him proper medical treatment could pose a threat to his life. JKLF in a statement said: “Keeping Yasin Malik in a solitary confinement and depriving him of his basic human rights is actually the tactics of political vendetta authorities are treading upon.”

Meanwhile, a five-day long sit-in protest was held by the Kashmiris outside the Indian High Commission in London against the ill-treatment meted out to Muhammad Yasin Malik in Indian custody.