Updated: November 2, 2018 10:41:45 am
Hours after a BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his elder brother Ajit Parihar were gunned down by militants in Kishtwar, Jammu & Kashmir, curfew has been imposed. The attack, suspected to have been carried out by militants, comes days ahead of the panchayat polls in the state which will be held in nine phases starting November 17.
As word of the killings spread, people in large numbers rushed to the local hospital. Kishtwar district magistrate A S Rana requested the Army to patrol the area.
The administration announced a curfew in Kishtwar, Doda and Baderwah, besides imposing prohibitory orders, banning assembly of more than four people in Ramban, Banihal, Poonch, Kathua, Rajouri and upper reaches of Gool Gulabgarh. Kishtwar is communally sensitive and the district had witnessed communal clashes in the past as well.
A BJP leader who was already on a terror hit-list, Anil had been provided personal security officers (PSOs). At the time of the attack, sources said, the PSOs were not accompanying him.
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Anil had been active in Kishtwar politics even at the height of militancy, especially during BJP’s Doda Bachao Andolan when senior party leaders from the Centre had also courted arrest in Jammu in the 1990s. He was considered close to Jitendra Singh, Minister at the Centre, and Sunil Sharma, who was elected MLA from Kishtwar on a BJP ticket. He had actively campaigned for both during the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.Singh expressed grief over the killings and said he would be heading to Kishtwar at the earliest.
J&K BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi expressed shock over the killings and said it looked like a terror attack since Parihar had been on the campaign trail for the panchayat elections in the district. He said it could be an attempt to sabotage the panchayat elections. Sethi urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to strengthen the security grid in view of the current situation in the state.
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