- BJP leader Sheikh Wasim's father and brother were also killed
- The attack took place while they were sitting outside a shop
- PM Modi extended his condolences to the BJP leader's family
Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader Sheikh Wasim, his father and brother were killed by terrorists late Wednesday night in the union territory's Bandipore district.
J&K Police said Mr Wasim and his family were attacked at around 9 PM while sitting outside a shop near the local police station. All three suffered injuries in the attack and were rushed to Bandipore district hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
In a late-night telephone conversation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought details and extended his condolences to Mr Wasim's family, Union Minister Jitendra Singh tweeted.
"Over the telephone, PM Narendra Modi enquired about the gruesome killing of Wasim Bari. He also extended condolences to the family of Wasim," Mr Singh said.
Over the telephone, PM @narendramodi enquired about the gruesome killing of Wasim Bari. He also extended condolences to the family of Wasim.— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) July 8, 2020
"Terrorists fired on BJP worker Wasim Bari at Bandipora. During indiscriminate firing Wasim Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and brother Umer Bashir got injured and shifted to hospital, but all three succumbed to their injuries," J&K Police tweeted.
#Terrorists fired upon BJP worker Wasim Bari at #Bandipora. During indiscrimnate firing Wasim Bari, his father Bashir Ahmad and his brother Umer Bashir got injured and shifted to hospital but unfortunately all the three #succumbed to their injuries. @JmuKmrPolice— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) July 8, 2020
The attack, and deaths, are being seen as a major security failure. Mr Wasim was provided with a security detail but none of the eight guards deployed were present when the terrorists attacked.
Sources say the guards have been arrested for dereliction of duty and an investigation has been started.
"We are taking a tough (stand) against them for dereliction of duty and failure to protect the life," Vijay Kumar, IGP Kashmir, said.
Doctors at the district hospital said all three men had been shot in the head.
"They had bullet injuries in the head. All three were rushed to hospital where doctors declared them brought dead," a medical officer said.
According to news agency PTI, the terrorists were armed with a revolver (fitted with a silencer) and rode motorcycles. They attacked barely 10 metres from the police station.
Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav has said he is shocked by the killing.
"Shocked and saddened by the killing of young BJP leader Wasim Bari and his brother by terrorists in Bandipora. This despite 8 security commandos. Condolences to the family," Mr Madhav tweeted, noting that Mr Wasim's father was also a BJP "senior leader".
BJP President JP Nadda said Mr Wasim's death was a huge loss for the party.
"We lost Sheikh Wasim Bari, his father & 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," Mr Nadda tweeted.
We lost Sheikh Waseem Bari,his father & 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.— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) July 8, 2020
Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted as well, saying he condemned the attack and offered his condolences to grieving family members at this time.
"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.
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. Sadly the violent targeting of mainstream political workers continues unabated.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) July 8, 2020
The People's Democratic Party also tweeted, expressing grief over the killing of Mr Wasim and also accusing the J&K administration of failing to ensure security arrangements.
"Distraught at the recurring spate of killing of political workers in Kashmir. While we express our unconditional sympathies with the family, the administration has squarely failed in ensuring adequate security arrangements amid deteriorating security conditions," the party said.
With input from ANI, PTI