LeT behind shooting of BJP leader in J-K: Cops
All 10 policemen guarding Bari, a 28-year-old former BJP district president, have been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty and arrested after the Wednesday night, according to Kashmir inspector general of police Vijay Kumar.Updated: Jul 10, 2020 01:24 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Waseem Bari and his father and brother were killed in an attack executed by two terrorists owing allegiance to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in north Kashmir’s Bandipore district, the police said on Thursday.
All 10 policemen guarding Bari, a 28-year-old former BJP district president, have been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty and arrested after the Wednesday night, according to Kashmir inspector general of police Vijay Kumar.
The personal security officers (PSOs) of Bari were not with him when the attack took place barely 10 metres away from a police station around 9pm, and face dismissal from service over the lapse, he said.
Kumar also said the examination of footage from CCTV cameras in the police station confirmed that Bari was being followed. Both terrorists involved in the attack have been identified and they will be “neutralised soon”, he told reporters in Bandipore.
Kumar said a local, identified as Abid, and a foreigner carried out the attack on Bari and his family members in their shop. The family’s residence is in the same building.
On Wednesday evening, Bari came back from his in-laws’ house and went to his shop, where his father, Bashir Ahmad, and brother, Umar Bashir, were already present, according to Kumar. His PSOs went to their rooms, he said.
“A militant came walking inside the shop and targeted the three from a close range. They received bullets on their heads and unfortunately succumbed to their injuries [after they were taken to a hospital],” Kumar said.
He said while one of the terrorists fired upon the three men — all associated with the BJP — another was guiding him from a distance.
“When he [Bari] left his house early in the evening for his in-laws’ house, a person is seen in the CCTV footage. And when he returned, the same person is there. It was a planned attack,” Kumar said.
“Even if two of his  PSO’s remained with him, they would have killed the militant. All the PSOs were suspended and arrested; now they will be dismissed from service for this security lapse,” he said.
Kumar stressed that the police are committed to providing protection to everyone who was under threat. “If anyone gets a threat, we appeal them to contact the SSP [senior superintendent of police] concerned and they will be provided with security,” he said.
When asked if the security of BJP leaders in the Valley would be strengthened, Kumar said: “Increasing or decreasing security does not stop incidents. What matters is how alert a securityman is and how bravely he fights.”
Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Girish Chandra Murmu condemned the killing of Bari and his father and brother.
He said the killing of innocent people is against the humanity and the perpetrators of this “cowardly act “shall be brought to justice, read a statement from the department of information and public relations, Jammu and Kashmir.
BJP state president Ravinder Raina and general secretary Ashok Koul visited Bari’s residence on Thursday and offered their condolences. Bari, his father and brother were laid to rest close to their house in the afternoon amid tight security.
Raina said the frustration of Pakistan and Pakistan-sponsored terrorists with the growing footprints of the BJP in the Kashmir Valley was behind the attack. He added that the killings will be avenged by flushing out terrorists from their hideouts and eliminating them.
“Pakistan and its terrorists cannot deter us. The want to demoralise us. That is not going to happen. All of those terrorists involved in the killing will be eliminated,” he said.
Security forces have stepped up their offensive against terrorists in the Kashmir Valley, killing 122 of them since the beginning of this year. And 48 were killed in June alone. Among the major successes of security forces this year is the killing of Riyaz Naikoo, a top commander of local militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, in an operation in Beighpora in May.
(With agency inputs)