RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma shot dead in Jammu's Kishtwar

Last November, militants had killed BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his elder brother Ajit Parihar in the same town

  • Published 10.04.19, 7:11 AM
  • Updated 10.04.19, 7:11 AM
  • a min read
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Security personnel stand guard outside the Govt Medical College hospital where RSS leader Chandrakant Sharma was admitted for treatment, in Jammu on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (PTI)

Suspected militants burst into a health centre on Tuesday in Kishtwar and killed an RSS leader and his personal security officer, the election season incident triggering fears of another bout of law and order problems in the communally sensitive town in Jammu’s Chenab valley.

Officials said they had imposed curfew and suspended Internet connectivity in the region following the murders of Chanderkant Sharma and Rajinder Kumar.

The army has been called in to maintain law and order.

Last November, suspected militants had killed the BJP’s state secretary, Anil Parihar, and his elder brother Ajit Parihar in the same town. The killings had led to law and order problems in the district. Sharma was a close associate of Parihar.

An officer said the militants entered the health centre around noon and started firing at Sharma and his security officer. Kumar died on the spot. Sharma was shifted to Jammu Medical College Hospital, around 170km away, where he died. Protesters hit the streets in the town soon after the killings.

“Condemn this act of terror. Seems like part of a bigger plan to incite communal tension. Urge @jandkgovernor to initiate a probe & appeal to people of Kishtwar to maintain peace & harmony,” PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.

“Unequivocally condemn the brutal murder of Chandrakant & his personal security officer in #Kishtwar today. There can be no place for targeting political operatives like this. I hope the residents of the area will cooperate with the administration & maintain calm,” National Conference leader Omar Abdullah tweeted.

Kishtwar was once a rebel-infested area. It was declared free of militancy several years back but the rebels managed to make fresh inroads during the previous BJP-PDP government in the state.

Kishtwar falls in the Udhampur parliamentary seat where the BJP’s sitting MP and minister Jitendra Singh is facing tough competition this time.