The killing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader Chandrakant Sharma in Kishtwar by terrorists just ahead of April 11 parliamentary elections in Jammu simply cannot be a coincident but should be seen as part of larger conspiracy to disturb the peaceful environment of the region so that polls can be deferred. The Tuesday killing reminds one of the killings of Parihar brothers in the same town in November 2018. Though four suspects were rounded up for the killings but the town saw violence with army called out to quell the unrest. Following the killings, an indefinite curfew was imposed in parts of Kishtwar and Doda districts on November 1. Governor Satya Pal Malik had on November 5 confirmed that it was a terror attack and the killers had been identified. The police had said that assailants behind these killings had links between the conspirators and terrorists based in the Kashmir valley and the Kishtwar-Doda belt of the Jammu region. The case remains unsolved till date. In 2001 the Kishtwar also saw massacre of 17 Hindu villagers in village Ladder near Kishtwar in Doda District by alleged terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba on August 3, 2001. These killings were subsequently discussed in parliament with opposition criticising the Government. Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Mujib-ur-Rahman who was behind these killings was shot dead three days later and a diary seized from him had an entry dated August 3 claiming responsibility of killing. A complete Bandh was observed in Jammu the following day in protest. Groups of demonstrators protesting against the Kishtwar carnage torched Pakistani flags and effigies of Gen Pervez Musharraf in Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur. With elections due on April 11 and the unchecked and irresponsible political ranting by various parties the present incident brings to the fore the elements working behind the curtain to disturb the election process in Jammu and Kashmir.
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