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RSS leader, PSO shot dead in Kishtwar; curfew imposed

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Governor, Omar, Mehbooba condemn attack

Jammu, Apr 09: An RSS leader and his security guard were killed on Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at them in a health centre in Kishtwar town, prompting authorities to impose curfew and call the army to maintain law and order in the communally sensitive region, officials said.

The incident took place at 12.30 pm when a gunman barged into the health centre and started firing at the RSS leader, Chanderkant Sharma, they said.

Sharma and his personal security officer Rajinder had gone to a health centre in Kishtwar. "The militant was watching his movement and opened fire, resulting in the death of the PSO and injury to the leader," Kishtwar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shakti Pathak was quoted as saying by PTI.

Sharma was moved to Jammu by air for treatment but died in hospital, officials said.

Apprehending law and order situation, authorities imposed curfew in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah towns of Kishtwar and Doda districts, the officials said, adding that the Army was called to maintain law and order while administration also snapped Internet connection in the area.

Inspector General (Jammu region) Manish Sinha said curfew was imposed as a precautionary measure.

After the attack, “the militant took away Rajender's weapon and fled from the spot,” he said, recapping events of the afternoon.

Earlier, police had said unidentified gunmen snatched the PSO's rifle and shot at the RSS leader.

Following the attack, protests broke out in Kishtwar town against the government and the police.

On November 01, BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet were returning from their shop in Kishtwar when they were gunned down by the militants.

Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik while condemning the killing of an RSS leader and his personal security officer, prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families.

He also directed the civil and police administration to review the safety and security of all important installations, establishments and public places and maintain strict vigil to thwart "the nefarious designs of the forces inimical to peace," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.

Former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the killings.

“Unequivocally condemn the brutal murder of Chandrakant & his personal security officer in #Kishtwar today. There can be no place for targeting political operatives like this. I hope the residents of the area will cooperate with the administration & maintain calm,” Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.

While condemning the killings, Mehbooba Mufti called for a probe into the incident.

“Condemn this act of terror. Seems like part of a bigger plan to incite communal tension. Urge @jandkgovernor to initiate a probe & appeal to people of Kishtwar to maintain peace & harmony,” she tweeted.

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