Normal life in Kishtwar district and its surrounding areas was completely paralysed on Thursday as both the Hindu and Muslim communities jointly observed a bandh to protest against the killing of a senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar by some unidentified gunmen in Kishtwar’s Tapal mohalla last week.
The call for bandh was given by Kishtwar’s Muslim Shoura Committee and Sanatan Dharam Sabha to press the administration and police to find out killers of both the brothers and get justice to the grieved families. They also expressed concern over the failure of police to protect the lives of innocent civilians.
Though the administration had lifted day curfew in the town and its outskirts, all shops and other business establishments belonging to both the communities remained closed and vehicular traffic off the roads during the day.
Eyewitnesses said that such a complete bandh was never witnessed in the town in the past three decades as whenever there had been such a call by one community, the other had opened its establishments.
BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar were shot dead by some unidentified gunmen in Kishtwar’s Tapal mohalla last week. The killings, which State Governor Satya Pal Malik described as “100 per cent terrorist activity’’, are seen as a major security lapse as not a single constable was deployed in the locality at that time even when it is located opposite the District Court Complex and has various government offices in its vicinity including Kishtwar police station.
The police have taken into custody two policemen who were deployed as PSOs with the deceased BJP leader but had not been accompanying him at the time of the attack. An empty shell of an AK rifle has also been seized from the site where the killings took place.
On Wednesday, Diwali in Kishtwar town remained a sombre affair as Hindus did not burst crackers nor purchased sweets following a call from Sanatan Dharam Sabha asking people not to celebrate Diwali.