New Delhi: After a BJP leader and his brother were shot dead in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar on Thursday evening, the Indian Army was brought into the communally-sensitive area – where they staged a flag march while the curfew continued in the town following angry protests.
The two men were returning from their shop around 8 pm when they were fired upon from close range in a dark, narrow lane leading to their house in the Tapal Gali Mohalla of Kishtwar town which falls in the Jammu region of the state.
The police said they are trying to find out whether the attack on BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit was carried out by terrorists or it was a criminal incident.
The attackers were apparently waiting for the brothers to return home and used pistols to target them, officials told news agency IANS.
They were taken to a hospital where doctors declared them brought dead, they said.
This is the first attack on any political leader in the Jammu region in the past several years.
The killings of Parihar brothers drew condemnation from all political parties.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh expressed shock over the killings, saying the police will leave no stone unturned to bring perpetrators of the crime to justice.
“Shocked and pained by the killing of J&K State BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother. My heart goes out to the bereaved family,” he said in a tweet.
The home minister said he spoke to K Vijay Kumar, the advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir governor, and took a stock of the incident.
BJP president Amit Shah said the attack was “a cowardly act that shames humanity”.
“Just got the tragic news of killing of Shri Anil Parihar, Secretary @BJP4JnK, and his brother by terrorists in Kishtwar. This is a cowardly act that shames humanity. I grieve the death of my valued colleague and pray that God gives his family strength to bear this untimely loss,” Shah tweeted.
President of the BJP’s state unit Ravinder Raina said cowards involved in the dastardly attack will not be spared.
‘” In this hour of grief, the BJP and countrymen stand by the aggrieved family. The cowards shot them in the dark from point blank range. They will not be spared and has to pay for it,” he said.
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah said it was a “very sad news” and offered condolences to the families of the Parihar brothers.
“… May their souls rest in peace,” he tweeted.
BJP general secretary Ashok Koul called for punishment to the culprits involved in it.
CPI(M) legislator MY Tarigami and state Congress president Gulam Ahmed Mir also condemned the killings of the BJP leader and his brother. Mir termed the attack “barbaric and unfortunate” and pointed towards the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
National Conference’s Jammu province chief Devender Rana said the killings were “barbaric, inhuman and most unfortunate”.
“Violence has no place in a civilised society,” Rana said and hoped that the people will unitedly face the challenge posed by elements inimical to peace and tranquillity.