BJP leader killed in attack in Jammu and Kashmir

Two family members also dead in suspected militant attack in Bandipora

Updated - July 09, 2020 07:12 am IST

Published - July 08, 2020 09:27 am IST - Jammu

Deserted streets: Most markets and business centres remained closed on Wednesday.

Deserted streets: Most markets and business centres remained closed on Wednesday.

A BJP leader and his two family members were killed in a suspected militant attack in north Kashmir's Bandipora on Wednesday evening, even as security was beefed up across the Valley on the fourth death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani.

"Terrorists fired upon BJP worker Wasim Bari at Bandipora. During indiscriminate firing, Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and his brother Umer Bashir were injured and were shifted to a hospital. Unfortunately, all the three succumbed to their injuries," a police spokesman told The Hindu .

"All 10 personal security officials (PSOs) guarding the BJP leader were arrested after the attack,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told The Hindu . The move has come as part of the investigation “into any security lapse”.

A police official said the suspected militants opened fire from a close range on the BJP leader and his family near their shop. Security forces have launched an operation to nab the attackers. So far, no militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“I am shocked and saddened by the killing of young BJP leader Wasim Bari and his brother by terrorists in Bandipora. Bari’s father is also a senior leader. This despite 10 security commandos. My condolences to the family,” said BJP general secretary Ram Madhav.

”Sorry to hear about the murderous terror attack on the BJP functionaries and their father. I condemn the attack,” said National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah.

Shutdown in parts of Kashmir

Mobile Internet was snapped in parts of the Kashmir Valley “as a precautionary measure” on the fourth death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Burhan Wani on Wednesday.

In Depth | Burhan Wani's death and a year of living dangerously

Meanwhile, one civilian was killed and three others were injured in Pakistan’s firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K.

Security was beefed up across the Valley, especially in south Kashmir’s Tral, the hometown of Wani, who was killed in an encounter in 2016.

Mobile Internet, locals said, was snapped in most districts in south Kashmir and in north Kashmir’s Sopore. Officials said “certain security measures were put in place on the occasion.”

Most markets and business centres remained closed as a shutdown was observed in parts of the Valley. Traffic was also skeletal on the roads. Multiple security agencies had issued an alert on likely militant attacks.

Also read: Over 2,000 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along LoC this year, according to official data

The J&K police on Tuesday lodged an FIR against some unknown people for allegedly circulating a fake letter, issued in the name of ex-Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani, calling for a shutdown.

Meanwhile, Hizbul’s new commander Saifullah and his non-local escorts were reportedly active online. Pakistan Occupied Kashmir-based United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin also issued an audio message on the occasion and opposed “the implementation of new domicile policy in J&K”.

Civilian killed, 3 injured

A civilian was killed and three others were injured in fresh ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in in Pir Panjal’s Poonch district on Wednesday morning.

The civilian, identified as Rashim Bi, 65, a resident of Lanjoite Balakote, was killed in shelling and firing by Pakistan. Another person, Hakam Bi, 60, was also injured in the shelling.

An Army official said an unprovoked small arms firing and shelling was resorted to by Pakistan along the LoC in Balakote and Mendhar sectors at about 2 a.m. and continued till around 5 a.m.

A Srinagar-based Army spokesman said Pakistan also carried out ceasefire violation along the LoC in Tangdhar Sector, in north Kashmir’s Kupwara. “In the afternoon, Pakistan fired mortars and other weapons. A befitting response was given. However, two civilians were injured,” the spokesman said.

Both the civilians were injured during the construction work of community bunkers at Semari area.

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