It was an act of terror, probe into BJP leader’s killing confirms: Valley on high alert

Vicky Nanjappa

Jammu, Nov 5: It has now been confirmed that the killing of a BJP leader and his brother in Jammu and Kashmir last week was an act of terror. While investigations pointed towards the role of the Hizbul Mujahideen, on Monday, Governor of J&K, Satya Pal Malik said that it was an act of terror.

The Intelligence Bureau too had sufficient intercepts to suggest that the terrorists of the Hizbul would strike. They were planning a big strike ahead of the Panchayat polls and also to remain in contention.

There is a high alert in the Valley and all police stations have been directed to enhance security.

Ahead of the elections, the Hizbul Mujahideen also put up posters warning people not to take part in the process. The posters were immediately taken down by the police. The IB says that the Hizbul Mujahideen would look to stage more attacks ahead of the polling process.

An act of terror:

Bharatiya Janata Party state secretary Anil Parihar, 52, and his brother, Ajeet Parihar, 55, were killed on November 1 by terrorists when they were walking towards their home in Parihar mohalla at around 8.40 pm.

The accused involved in killing senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother in Kishtwar district have been identified and will be brought to book soon, Malik said.
It has been proved that it was an incident of militancy, he said, adding that it "was an act of frustration on the part of militants and Pakistan".

"Those people (killers of BJP senior leader and his brother) have been identified. Soon, results will be before you (media)," Malik told reporters after a function at the Civil Secretariat.

Also Read | Jammu and Kashmir: BJP's state secretary Anil Parihar, his brother shot dead in Kishtwar

The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the killing and directed it to expedite the investigation and submit its report as early as possible.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in parts of Kishtwar and Doda districts on Thursday following the killing of the Parihar brothers.

The curfew was, however, lifted from Doda district, including the main town and Bhadarwah along with Paddar and Chatroo sub-divisions of Kishtwar district Saturday, but Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) continued to remain in force in these areas as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.

The motive:

The motive according to investigators prima facie suggested that the Hizbul Mujahideen under the directions of Pakistan wanted to create communal tension in the Valley. The outfit also wanted to send out a strong message to the BJP, officials feel.

The investigations also show that pistols were used to kill the two persons. The Hizbul Mujahideen, which has often complained about the lack of sophisticated weapons had recently spoken about the use of pistols in their operations. They had also suggested that Pakistan is not aiding them enough where the weapons are concerned. This attack could have also been a message to Pakistan to suggest that the Hizbul Mujahideen is still relevant in the Valley.

Also Read | Accused involved in killing of J&K BJP leader, his brother identified: Governor Satya Pal Malik

On Friday, the police had also questioned two personal security officials of the BJP leader. A Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the case. The police has detained two personal security officials -- Om Prakash and Sahil Kumar -- who are being questioned, Senior Superintendent of Police Kishtwar Rajinder Gupta said.

The tragedy could have been averted had the officials been with him, the police said.

The probe:

"The SIT has been constituted by police to probe the killings. It is headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Prabeet Singh," Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana said.

"We urge all the political leaders and protected persons to keep their PSOs (personal security officials) with them and do not allow them leave them unguarded," he added.

Also Read | J&K: Hizbul killed BJP leader, wanted to create communal tension

In this backdrop, one must take note of an Intelligence Bureau report, which spoke about heavy movement of terrorists in Kishtwar in the past 15 days. The report spoke about the movement of 15 terrorists in the area. They had moved in from Anantnag district of South Kashmir into Kishtwar.

Questioning the polling process:

There are several aspects to the ongoing probe. The police suspect that this could have been an act of terror ahead of the November 17 panchayat elections. Various reports have suggested that Pakistan and its terrorists would up the ante. Moreover several terror groups have been trying to target and disrupt the elections. The J&K administration had said that Pakistan is particularly upset that the election process is underway and was also successfully completed where the urban local body polls were concerned.

Also Read:

Hizbul Mujahideen posters surface in Doda, case registered: Cops

How Jaish-e-Mohammad went from dormant to most lethal in the Valley

JK Police issues advisory about impending terror attacks ahead of Independence Day