Speaking to reporters in Bandipore, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said they had identified the two militants involved in the attack. “One of them is Abid (a local militant) and another is a foreigner,” he said.
Saying that the attack was pre-planned, Kumar said the CCTV footage showed that “one militant came inside and fired from close range” while the other kept guard from a distance.
A senior official at the local hospital, where Bari, his father and brother were taken, told The Indian Express that they had “head injuries”.
Bari was killed outside his house, right next to the local police station. A paramilitary camp is located a little distance away from the house.
Ten policemen, assigned to the security of Bari and his family, have been arrested. Police said all of them were inside the house at the time of the attack. “They are being dismissed from service,” IGP Kumar said.
While Bari was a member of the BJP state executive committee, his father Sheikh Bashir Ahmad and brother Sheikh Umar were also office-bearers of the party. Bari is survived by his wife and two children.
Bari had joined the BJP after unsuccessfully contesting the 2014 Assembly elections as an Independent, and emerged as a prominent face of the party in Bandipore. He was earlier president of the party’s Bandipore district unit. Atop his house-cum-office is the Tricolor, and the BJP’s party flags.
“He had installed BJP flags in the heart of the town. He would openly talk against militancy… I guess he became a target because he would openly say that he was working for the BJP and would organise party programmes,” said a relative.
“Be it government schemes or organising party activities, he was successfully doing everything for the party,” said BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur. “It will be very difficult to fill the void he has left”.
State party chief Ravinder Raina was among those who attended the funeral on Thursday.
Asked if security would be stepped up for those associated with mainstream political parties, IGP Kumar said security has already been provided to those facing threats. “If any political worker, sarpanch or panch is facing any specific threat, we have appealed to them to meet the concerned SP; security will be provided to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, militants attacked an Army convoy in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday. The Army said in a statement that a soldier and a “civilian lady” were injured.
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