10 Cops Tasked With Protecting BJP Leader, Shot Dead In J&K, Arrested

Sheikh Wasim Bari, his father and brother were killed by terrorists late Wednesday night in the union territory's Bandipore district. All three were BJP leaders

Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader Sheikh Wasim Bari, his father and brother were killed by terrorists

Srinagar:

After the killing of Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader Sheikh Wasim Bari and two of his family members on Wednesday night, 10 policemen tasked with protecting the family have been arrested. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was behind the attack, the police say. "The terrorists have been identified," Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told NDTV.

A new terror group calling itself The Resistance Front claimed responsibility for the attack. The police say it is a front of the Jaish, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen.

Sheikh Wasim Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Umer Bashir were killed at their home in the union territory's Bandipore district. All three were BJP members.

They had Personal Security Officers who were missing when the terrorists struck.

Wasim Bari and his family were attacked at around 8.30 pm, when they were in the shop on the ground floor of their home.

On security camera footage, a terrorist on a bike is seen shooting at close range. The father and two sons were shot dead barely 10 metres from the local police station. The terrorist used a revolver fitted with a silencer, said the police.

Their security personnel were allegedly on the first floor of the house when the terrorist attacked the three men.

"We are taking a tough (stand) against them for dereliction of duty and failure to protect lives," Vijay Kumar, Inspector General, Kashmir, said. "It seemed like a pre-planned attack from the CCTV footage. All three were shot at the head from close range. We have identified the terrorists. One of them belongs to Lashkar-e-Taiba. Another in the group is a Pakistani. Very soon we will neutralise them in a joint operation with police, army and the CRPF," Mr Kumar said today.

Doctors at the district hospital said all three men had been shot in the head.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a call late last night, expressed condolences to the family and asked about the killings, Union Minister Jitender Singh tweeted.

BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda said their sacrifice will not go in vain.

"We lost Sheikh Waseem Bari, his father and brother in Bandipora, J&K today in a cowardly attack on them. This is a huge loss for the party. My deepest condolences are with the family. The entire Party stands with the bereaved family. I assure that their sacrifice will not go in vain," Nadda tweeted.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack.

"Sorry to hear about the murderous terror attack on the BJP functionaries & their father in Bandipore earlier this evening. I condemn the attack. My condolences to their families in this time of grief," Mr Abdullah said. "Sadly the violent targeting of mainstream political workers continues unabated," he added.