- A terrorist opened fire at a health centre in J&K's Kishtwar town
- Chanderkant Sharma and his personal security officer died in the attack
- Internet services have been suspended in the area and a curfew imposed
RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his personal security officer were killed when a terrorist opened fire at a health centre in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar town today, news agency PTI reported.
Following this, the authorities suspended Internet services and imposed a curfew in the region. The army has been called in to maintain law and order, officials said.
The incident took place around noon, when the terrorist entered the health centre and started firing at Mr Sharma and his personal security officer, Rajinder who died on the spot. Mr Sharma died despite being taken to Jammu Medical College Hospital.
While police initially claimed that Mr Sharma was shot by the gunman using his security officer's rifle, this was later contradicted by senior police officer Manish Sinha. After the attack, the terrorist fled the scene with the security officer's weapon, Mr Sinha said, according to news agency PTI.
Protests broke out against the government and security forces after the incident. Jammu and Kashmir leaders Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah condemned the attack and asked the people to maintain peace. "Condemn this act of terror. Seems like part of a bigger plan to incite communal tension. Urge @jandkgovernor to initiate a probe & appeal to people of Kishtwar to maintain peace & harmony," Ms Mufti said in a tweet.
Unequivocally condemn the brutal murder of Chandrakant & his personal security officer in #Kishtwar today. There can be no place for targeting political operatives like this. I hope the residents of the area will cooperate with the administration & maintain calm.— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 9, 2019
Manmohan Vaidya, general secretary of the RSS called his death is an irreparable loss. "He was the centre of hope and trust for a patriotic society that is against terrorism", he said.
This is the second terrorist attack to occur in Kishtwar town over the last six months. BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit were shot dead by terrorists while returning from their shop in November. Mr Sharma was a close associate of Anil Parihar.
The attack comes days before the general elections at which security is a major concern.
(With input from agencies)