Family members and top BJP leaders on Friday, 2 November bid emotional goodbye to BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet, who were shot dead by suspected terrorists in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, 1 November.
Mortal remains of the duo were consigned to flames in Kishtwar district at around 3 pm.
During the Friday congregational prayers, Imam of Kishtwar Jamia Masjid Farooq Kitchloo appealed to the Muslim community to join the funeral ceremony of the Parihar brothers as a mark of unity between the two communities.
SUSPECTED HIZBUL TERRORISTS BEHIND ATTACK: REPORT
The attack is seen as a ‘desperate’ attempt by suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists to carry out an impactful attack in an otherwise calm district after failing to unleash a strike in the valley due to tight security arrangements ahead of panchayat polls, sources in the intelligence told The Times of India.
The modus operandi and weapons used to kill Parihar and his brother point to the fact that local terrorists were involved and were possibly assisted by overground workers, TOI reported quoting intelligence officials.
SITUATION IN KISHTWAR
After the attack on 1 November, the Jammu and Kashmir administration imposed a curfew in Kishtwar and other parts of the state. The state administration also called out the Army as people staged protests and reportedly manhandled senior police personnel, officials told PTI.
Mobile internet services were suspended as a precautionary measure, while the curfew continued on Friday, 2 November.
Speaking to ANI, Deputy Commissioner of Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana said, “Curfew has been strictly imposed but the situation is now under control.”
Rana further said that the SP has been asked to form an SIT.
The brothers were returning from their shop in Kishtwar when they were fired upon from close range at a dark, narrow lane leading to their house, the officials told PTI.
The assailants were apparently waiting for the brothers to return home and used pistols to target them, they said.
They were rushed to a hospital where doctors declared them brought dead, they said.
WHY WAS ARMY CALLED IN TO HELP?
Immediately after the attack, people started assembling outside the residence of Parihar and refused entry of senior police officers, who were even manhandled.
The mourners refused to hand over the body to police and did not allow them to gather evidence from the Parihar Mohalla where the two brothers were shot dead.
Rana took the decision as he apprehended that violence might erupt and thus result in law and order problem, endangering life and property of citizens of Kistwar town.
Police had announced 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.
Militants have in the past attempted to create communal tension in the region by targeting Hindu community, especially in higher reaches. In 2001, the terrorists killed 17 Hindu nomads.
This is the first attack on any political leader in the Jammu region in past several years, PTI reported.
POLITICAL LEADERS CONDEMN THE ATTACK
The killings of Parihar brothers drew severe condemnation from all quarters.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed shock and pain 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 also spoke to K Vijay Kumar, the advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, and took stock of the incident.
“Spoke to Advisor to J&K Governor, Sh Vijay Kumar regarding the incident. The police will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said.
In a tweet, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was a “very sad news” and offered condolences to the families of Parihar brothers.
“Very sad news. My condolences to Anil & Ajit Parihar’s family & colleagues. May their souls rest in peace,” he said.
BJP general secretary Ashok Koul condemned the attack and called for punishment to the culprits involved in it.
CPI(M) MLA 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 strongly condemned the killings as “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.
(With PTI inputs)