Jammu and Kashmir BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar were shot dead on Thursday night by unidentified gunmen in the Kisthwar district of the state.
The two men were returning from their shop in Kishtwar when they were fired upon from close range in a dark, narrow lane leading to their house, officials said.
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.
In view of the mounting tension in the area, a curfew has been imposed in the region.
The deaths have garnered reactions from BJP leaders across the spectrum.
Expressing condolences to the Parihar family, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the state police will launch an investigation into the matter:
Shocked & pained by the killing of J&K State BJP leader Sh. Anil Parihar & his brother. My heart goes out to the bereaved family. 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.
— राजनाथ सिंह (@rajnathsingh) November 1, 2018
BJP president Amit Shah also condemned the incident, referring to it as “cowardly”:
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.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 1, 2018
Opposition leaders also reacted to the news on social media. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to react to the news:
Very sad news. My condolences to Anil & Ajit Parihar’s family & colleagues. May their souls rest in peace. https://t.co/r6PkFnnvKv
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) November 1, 2018
Congress chief Gulam Ahmed Mir dubbed the attack “barbaric and unfortunate”, while National Conference leader Devender Singh Rana said the killings were “barbaric, inhuman and most unfortunate” and that “violence has no place in a civilised society”.