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BJP leader, brother shot in Jammu

'They were returning from their shop when two assailants shot them point blank from behind'

  • Published 2.11.18, 3:16 AM
  • Updated 2.11.18, 3:16 AM
  • a min read
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The brothers were returning from their shop when two assailants shot them point blank from behind. (Thinkstock)

BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parmar were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Jammu’s Kishtwar town, aggravating communal tensions and forcing authorities to clamp curfew on the town and its neighbourhood.

The state BJP said it was a militant attack but the district administration would not confirm it. Hundreds thronged the neighbourhood where the brothers lived to protest the killings.

Kishtwar is a communally sensitive town in Jammu’s Chenab Valley, where Muslims enjoy a slender majority. The BJP won the constituency in the 2014 Assembly elections after allegedly polarising the area. The Muslim votes split between the National Conference, Congress and the People’s Democratic Party.

For several years, the area has been calm after it was declared free of militancy.

Kishtwar additional superintendent of police Parbeet Singh said the brothers were killed late in the evening while returning from a shop. “I won’t be able to say at this juncture whether it was a militant attack,” he said.

Deputy commissioner A.S. Rana blamed the killings on “miscreants” or “unknown persons”. BJP spokesman Anil Gupta said it was a militant attack, aimed at disturbing communal harmony ahead of Assembly polls.

He said the brothers were returning from their shop when two assailants shot them point blank from behind. “The situation in the area is very tense,” he said.

Gupta said Parihar ran a shop in the locality while his brother was a government employee. He said Parihar had been associated with the BJP from an early age and was previously president of the party youth wing.