Gunmen assassinate BJP leader, his father and brother in Kashmir’s Bandipora district

Three family members of a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader were killed in a suspected militant attack in North Kashmir’s Bandipore district.

The dead include Waseem Bari, a former district chief of the BJP, his father Sheikh Bashir Ahmad and brother Sheikh Umar while they were in their shop, police said. All three died in hospital later.

Their shop was located right outside the Bandipore Police Station.

The Jammu and Kashmir police arrested 10 of its people assigned to the security of Bari and his family. Police say the personnel security officers were not present with them when the attack happened.

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 also held the post of president of the party’s Bandipore district unit.

Just a month earlier Ajay Pandita alias Bharti, a 40-year-old sarpanch in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, was shot dead. He was associated with the Congress party.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir has faced militancy and unrest for years. Attacks like these have increased over the past year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led government revoked Kashmir’s special autonomy.