The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to take over the investigation into the killing of senior BJP leader Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar by suspected militants in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month, officials said on Sunday, November 18.
A team of NIA experts visited Kishtwar town, 230 km from here, last week to assist the state police in the ongoing probe. It later sought permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs for taking over the case for a thorough investigation, the officials said.
The Parihar brothers were shot at point-blank range outside their house on November 1 when they were returning home after closing their shop in the town. The officials said the Home Ministry was likely to give its nod to the NIA for taking over the probe from the special investigation team (SIT) set up by the government.
The SIT has arrested some people, including the sister of a local militant who along with his Kashmiri associate is believed to have carried out the targeted killing in an attempt to revive militancy in the district bordering south Kashmir the hotbed of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav visited the bereaved family last week and said, "Right now our main challenge is to track down the terrorists (behind the killings) and neutralize them. That will be done very soon."
"That (neutralizing of terrorists) is the important thing here. Of course, we will not allow these kinds of activities to create instability and violence in Kishtwar or Doda, the peaceful areas of the Jammu region. That is our priority and we are focusing on that," Madhav had said.
On November 5, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik had said the accused involved in the killing of Parihar brothers have been identified and will be brought to book soon.
"It has been proved that it was an incident of militancy," he had said, adding that it "was an act of frustration on the part of militants and Pakistan".
The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted an SIT to probe the killings and directed it to submit its report as early as possible. The SIT has detained some persons in connection with the killings after questioning over 30 people including the personal security officers of the BJP leader. The police investigation has so far revealed that the killings were carried out by a two-member squad of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.