A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader and his personal security officer were killed after a suspected militant opened fire at them at a health centre in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, PTI reported.

The RSS leader, Chandrakant Sharma, was injured when the militant opened fire, and succumbed to his injuries when he was airlifted to a hospital in Jammu, officials said. Rajender, his security officer, had died during the firing, Kishtwar Senior Superintendent of Police Shakti Pathak told PTI.

The incident took place at 12.30 pm. The militant took away Rajender’s weapon and fled from the spot, said Inspector General (Jammu region) Manish Sinha.

Protests broke out in Kishtwar soon after the incident. A curfew has been imposed in the region, and the Army was called to maintain law and order in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah districts. Internet connection was also suspended in the region.

Political parties condemn killing

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti condemned the incident and demanded an investigation.

Abdullah called for calm in the region. “I unequivocally condemn the brutal murder of Chandrakant [Sharma] and his personal security officer in Kishtwar today,” Abdullah tweeted. “There can be no place for targeting political operatives like this. I hope the residents of the area will cooperate with the administration.”

Mufti called on Governor Satya Pal Malik to initiate an inquiry into the killings. “It seems like part of a bigger plan to incite communal tension,” she tweeted. “I appeal to people of Kishtwar to maintain peace and harmony.”