Ten policemen who were tasked with protecting Jammu and Kashmir Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sheikh Wasim Bari have been arrested in connection with his murder, NDTV reported on Thursday. Bari, his father and brother were shot dead by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday.
“We are taking a tough [stand] against them for dereliction of duty and failure to protect lives,” said Kashmir Inspector General Vijay Kumar. He added that the policemen assigned as personal security officers.
Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh had on Wednesday said that the police officers, who had been deployed to provide security, were not present during the incident.
Bari, the BJP’s district president, was sitting outside his shop when the militant attack took place around 9 pm. The policemen, on the other hand, were sitting on the first floor of the building. “As the house and shop are together, the PSOs were allowed to sit on the first floor,” an unidentified official told India Today.
The police said Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was behind the attack. “The terrorists have been identified,” DGP Singh told NDTV.
Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his condolences to Bari’s family. “Over the telephone, PM Narendra Modi enquired about the gruesome killing of Wasim Bari. He also extended condolences to the family of Wasim,” he tweeted.
Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary Ram Madhav expressed his condolences to the family. “Shocked and saddened by the killing of young BJP leader Wasim Bari and his brother by terrorists in Bandipora,” he tweeted. “Bari’s father who is also a senior leader was injured. This despite eight security commandos.”
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,” Nadda tweeted. “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.”
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah condemned the incident. “Sorry to hear about the murderous terror attack on the BJP functionaries and their father in Bandipore earlier this evening,” he tweeted. “I condemn the attack. My condolences to their families in this time of grief. Sadly the violent targeting of mainstream political workers continues unabated.”