Kishtwar tense, under curfew after Parihar brothers’ killing
Jammu, Nov 2: The Army Friday staged a flag march in Kishtwar town where curfew was imposed after a senior BJP leader and his brother were killed by unknown gunmen on Thursday night, officials said on Friday. Kishtwar District Magistrate Angrez Singh Rana said that the situation was tense but under control. “The Army staged a flag march in Kishtwar town in order to maintain law and order,” Rana said. He said the curfew, which was imposed in the town on Thursday night, was strictly in place and additional security personnel were deployed in sensitive areas of the town. Rana said there were no reports of any untoward incident. SSP Rajinder Gupta said a hunt was launched to track down those involved in the case. Following the killing of BJP state secretary Anil Parihar, 52, and his brother, Ajeet Parihar, 55, by unknown gunmen, people had staged angry protests in the communally sensitive town and manhandled senior police officials. The district magistrate had requested the Army in the town and its adjoining areas to control the internal security situation that arose due to the killings. He took the decision as he apprehended that violence might erupt and result in law and order problem, endangering the life and property of citizens. The killings of Parihar brothers drew severe condemnation from all quarters. The senior BJP leader and his brother were killed when they were returning home after closing their stationery shop located outside old DC office complex, officials said. As two were walking towards their home in Parihar mohalla through a dark lane in Tapal Mohalla, they were fired upon from a close range by the gunmen around 8.40 pm, they said. The assailants were apparently waiting for the brothers to return home, they said. The people rushed to the spot after hearing gunshots and rushed them to the district hospital in Kishtwar where they were declared brought dead, they added. As the news spread, locals rushed to hospital and the brothers’ house, where they held protests against the alleged failure of the administration and the police. Angry people manhandled policemen, including the SSP, after arguing with them. They also clashed with the police and forced them to leave the hospital. The angry mob raised anti-Pakistan slogans demanding arrest of those involved in the killings. The protestors later also took to streets and held a protest near the Kishtwar police station. Anil Parihar was active in politics for over 25 years and had unsuccessfully contested the 2008 Assembly elections on a Jammu and Kashmir National Panther Party (JKNPP) ticket. Ajeet Parihar was an employee of the State Forest Corporation (SFC). Top political leaders including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh have condemned the killing, though the police is yet to ascertain the motive behind the double murder. “My heart goes out to the bereaved family. Spoke to adviser to Jammu and Kashmir governor, Vijay Kumar, regarding the incident. The police will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Singh wrote on his Twitter handle. Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah took to twitter and wrote: “Very sad news. My condolences to Anil and Ajit Parihar’s family and colleagues. May their souls rest in peace.” Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley too expressed his sadness over the killing. “Killing of BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother in J&K’s Kishtwar is an act of cowardice. It is an extremely deplorable act. This is an attempt to derail the peace process in the region. My thoughts & prayers are with the family of Shri Parihar,” he tweeted. BJP National President Amit Shah also tweeted about him being grieved to hear the news: “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.” National Conference’s provincial president Devender Singh Rana condemned the killing as “barbaric, inhuman and most unfortunate.” “Violence has no place in a civilised society,” Rana said, expressing concern over the incident and hoped that the people will together meet the “challenge posed by elements inimical to peace and tranquility”.