Slain BJP councillor Pandita didn’t tell PSOs he was visiting south Kashmir: Police

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Srinagar, Jun 10 (PTI) BJP leader Rakesh Pandita, who was killed by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists last week, had told his personal security guards (PSOs) that he was still in Jammu on the day he was shot dead in Tral town of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a police official said on Thursday.

He said investigators are trying to find out the reason behind Pandita's regular visits to Tral over the past one and a half years.

The official said investigators did not suspect any foul play by the personal security guards of the deceased leader as 'they were not even aware about Pandita's presence in Kashmir, let alone Tral'.

'He (Pandita) had told the PSOs over the phone that he was still in Jammu,' the official added.

Pandita, a BJP councillor, was shot dead and a woman, accompanying him, was injured by terrorists owing allegiance to the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group on June 2 in the Tral area of Pulwama.

The official said so far 20 persons have been questioned in connection with the killing of Pandita but no formal arrests have been made yet.

He said investigators also want to question the 22-year-old woman, who was injured in the firing by the terrorists, but have to wait till she comes out of the hospital.

'We are working on all angles and everyone connected with the deceased is being probed. Even the family which was hosting the victim on the day of the incident is being questioned,' the official said.

A police handout released after the incident said Pandita, who was a protected person, had defied the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and went to the village without his personal security officers. PTI MIJ SKL IJT AQS AQS