Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and his elder brother in Kishtwar town on Thursday evening, the police said.
According to officials, Anil Parihar, state secretary BJP and his elder brother Ajit Parihar were returning home after the latter closed his shop at Tappal Mohalla in Old Town, when unidentified assailants fired at them near the Veterinary hospital.
The assailants fired at the duo from point-blank range while they were heading towards their residence in Parihar Mohalla, an official said.
The situation in the area was tense when this report was filed.
Reportedly some persons attacked and manhandled senior superintendent of police Kishtwar Rajinder Gupta and a local station house officer Sameer Jeelani at a hospital. Both the police officers were said to be injured and undergoing treatment.
A New Delhi-based news channel reported that the police are trying to find out if the attack on Parihar and Ajit was carried out by militants or it was a criminal incident.
A news agency quoted divisional commissioner (Jammu) Sanjeev Verma saying that police are investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Kishtwar Angrez Singh Rana imposed curfew in Kishtwar town and issued "shoot at sight" orders in view of tense situation.
The Sanatan Dharm Sabha and Vishwa Hindu Parishad organisations called for shutdown on Friday across Chenab Valley region, according to reports.
Home minister Rajnath Singh said he was shocked and pained by the killing of Parihar and his brother. "My heart goes out to the bereaved family. Spoke to advisor to J&K Governor, Vijay Kumar regarding the incident. The police will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators to justice," Singh wrote on his Twitter handle.
Former chief minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah took to twitter and wrote: "Very sad news. My condolences to Anil & Ajit Parihar's family & colleagues. May their souls rest in peace."
National Conference's provincial president Devender Singh Rana strongly condemned the killing of Parihar and his brother, describing the incident as "barbaric, inhuman and most unfortunate."
"Violence has no place in a civilized society", Rana said, expressing concern over the incident and hoped that the people will together meet the "challenge posed by elements inimical to peace and tranquility."
"Words fall short in times like these to express anguish over the colossal loss of human lives," he said, and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family.
He also prayed for peace to the departed souls.
BJP leader Jitendra Singh took to Twitter and wrote: "Deeply shocked by the killing of a dear Party colleague and BJP J&K State Secretary Anil Parihar and his brother. No words to express the grief. Rushing to Kishtwar at the earliest… that is the only thought on mind."