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Tensions spike in Indian Kashmir district after politician killed

02 Nov,2018

AFP, Srinagar:

The gunmen shot dead Anil Parihar, the BJP state secretary for Kashmir, and his brother from close range on Thursday night

Indian authorities imposed a curfew and deployed extra troops Friday in a remote district of disputed Kashmir after gunmen killed a local leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and his brother.

The gunmen shot dead Anil Parihar, the BJP state secretary for Kashmir, and his brother from close range on Thursday night as they walked home after closing the family bookshop in Kishtwar, police said.

The incident triggered protests in the town in the south of the Muslim-majority state. Kishtwar has a mixed Hindu-Muslim population and activists from the Hindu-dominated party took to the streets to demand action.

Authorities imposed a curfew and ordered extra military patrols to prevent violence.

"The situation is under control and an investigation into the incident is going on," Dilbag Singh, director general of police, told AFP.

Muslim militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan, rarely strike in Kishtwar district.

Fearing sectarian tensions, Muslim leaders used mosque speakers on Friday to also demand the attackers be found.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. An armed campaign for independence or a merger with Pakistan has riven the Indian side of the divided territory since 1989.

India has about 500,000 soldiers in Kashmir. The fighting has left tens of thousands dead, mainly civilians.

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