Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Monday that the BharatiyaJanata Party leader and his brother were killed by militants in Kishtwar to "disrupt" the upcoming panchayat elections and asserted that the attackers have been "identified."
Addressing a press conference after Durbar offices opened in winter capital Jammu, Malik said: "During the investigation, it was established that militants killed the two brothers who were affiliated with the BJP to derail the panchayat elections. But we will not allow it to happen."
BJP's state secretary Anil Parihar and his elder brother were shot dead by gunmen near their residence in Kishtwar town on the evening of November 1.
The Governor said there were apprehensions of violence following the killings but the situation was "handled well by the administration and the people of both the communities."
"After the killings, we were afraid that some miscreants might use the situation to incite communal violence in Kishtwar as the area has seen a lot of violence in the past. But the way both communities handled the situation and condemned the killings is appreciable," he said.
On some threat posters surfacing in Doda, the Governor said: "These are isolated incidents. We have successfully conducted elections at places where these posters are coming on a daily basis (in an indirect reference to Kashmir)."
ON SITUATION, MILITANCY
The Governor claimed that stone-pelting and militancy-related incidents have come down in the state.
"No new recruitment is taking place from last 3-4 months and no major incident of stone-pelting has happened. It has been possible because we address people with honesty and accept own mistakes too, which is difficult," he said.
Malik said that municipal elections were "violence-free" and "I think our policies made an impact because for me, militancy is not carrying a weapon but (it is) in minds and we successfully tried to tell this to the people that violence won't get them anything, the dialogue will."
Malik said the state administration will try to create an atmosphere for holding talks with stakeholders in next four to six months.
"I carry a mandate of (Prime Minister) NarendraModi to reach out to the people, make myself available to them, do their work, ensure the development of the state and create an atmosphere in which talks can be held," he told reporters here.
"If people give us four to six months, I am sure peace and dialogue are possible," he said.
ON POLL BOYCOTT
The Governor said that National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party have "realised their mistake of boycotting urban local body polls" and "will be taking part in the upcoming panchayat elections."
About the Supreme Court guidelines on taking biometrics of Rohingyas, Malik said the entire process will be completed in two months.