Sheikh Waseem Bari shot dead despite 10 cops being assigned to guard him! 

He was killed outside his shop, near the police station. With or without official security, local politicians continue to be targeted in Kashmir Valley.


Slain Kashmiri politician Sheikh Waseem Bari, had 10 cops, including eight security commandos guarding him. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Bandipore District President who was just 27-years-old, was shot and killed on July 8, allegedly in a terror attack, right outside the Bandipore Police Station. According to police, the police personnel assigned to guard the politician and his family were not near them when the attack happened.

Hours later, around 10 policemen have reportedly been arrested for their alleged negligence in protecting the leader, and his brother who was also killed in the attack that took place in north Kashmir’s Bandipore District. News agency PTI in a Twitter post, quoted the local Police as confirming seven arrests.

These two killings, the second of a local political leader in the Kashmir Valley, after the Congress Party’s sarpanch Ajay Pandita was gunned down on June 8, 2020, has shaken up the political establishment across party lines yet again. The biggest impact understandably is in the state unit of the BJP that has called the slain leader a martyr. 

Dr Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Ind Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region. MoS PMO, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked about, and condoled the killing over a telephone call. He tweeted, “Over the telephone, PM @narendramodi enquired about the gruesome killing of Wasim Bari. He also extended condolences to the family of Wasim.”



Party leader Ram Madhav shared a photo with the young Kashmiri leader and said he was “shocked  and saddened by the killing”. He tweeted, “Shocked and saddened by d killing of young BJP leader Wasim Bari and his brother by terrorists in Bandipora. Bari’s father who is also a senior leader was injured. This despite 8 security commandos. Condolences to d family.”



According to IE J&K Police have arrested 10 of its personnel assigned to Bari’s security detail, for “failing to protect them.” The security detail was not present with Bari and his family when the attack happened, said police. This is one of the most shocking killings in recent times in the Bandipore area. Kashmir IGP Vijay Kumar is quoted by IE as saying, “The three were shot by some unidentified men. They were critically injured and succumbed later.” In a late-night statement, reported by IE and other media, the J&K Police said, “Ten policemen were deployed for his (Bari’s) security but none was kept along by him at the time of incident… Officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime besides why he was without any security… The men deployed for his security are being detained for negligence under (the) police Act.”

Bari’s killing despite the large security detail given to him is in contrast to the killing of Larkipora’s Sarpanch Ajay Pandita Bharti on June 8, exactly a month ago. Pandita had been shot and killed, allegedly by militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. Pandita was a Congress leader and was killed in his native village in the evening. Pandita had constantly been asking for security, his request had fallen on the deaf ears of the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Union Government which administers the Union Territory. Girish Chandra Murmu, a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Services officer, is the first Lieutenant Governor of the Union territory that was formed under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. Murmu is a handpicked officer of the Gujarat cadre.

After his death, Sheen Pandita, his daughter, repeated what her father had been saying that the government had not provided him the security he had asked for on multiple occasions. She had demanded answers from the Union government and sought justice for her father.

A popular face of the BJP in the Valley, Wasim Bari had joined the mainstream party after he had fought and lost in the 2014 Assembly elections as an Independent candidate. “It is a big loss for the party. It is an attack on nationalist thought and those behind it are frustrated. His brother was coordinator for the BJP’s youth wing in Kashmir province,” BJP national vice-president (Youth Wing) Er Aijaz Hussain told The Indian Express. Party president J P Nadda said the Bari and his family’s “sacrifice will not go in vain”.

The Indian Express reported details of the militant attack on Wednesday that targeted Wasim, a member of the BJP’s state executive committee, his father Sheikh Bashir Ahmad and brother Sheikh Umar, both of who were active in the BJP and were  also office-bearers of the party. The IE reported that the attack happened just outside the Bandipore Police Station, when the three men were at their family shop, that they ran from their home.

The IE has quoted its sources and reported that a review of the security protocol of mainstream politicians in the Valley may soon be launched. It added a crucial finding that “after the imposition of governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018, and the subsequent abrogation of its special status, the security of a large number of mainstream politicians has been withdrawn or downgraded.”

Ironically, many parts of Kashmir observed a shutdown as Monday, July 8 was the fourth death anniversary of militant commander Burhan Wani, who was shot dead in south Kashmir in 2016. According to a report in the Tribune, the shut down was partial as shops mostly remained shut but private vehicles ran, and government offices were not affected in Srinagar. However, a complete shutdown was observed and security was strengthened to avert any protest on the death anniversary of Wani in south Kashmir, reported tribune. Restrictions were most stringent in Tral, where Wani hailed from. As is now norm, the “low-speed mobile Internet was also suspended in south Kashmir as a precautionary measure,” stated the report. Wani (22) was a Hizbul commander, and was hailed a “poster boy of Kashmir’s new-age militancy”. His killing in a gunfight with security forces on July 8, 2016, had triggered a five-month-long unrest in Kashmir that left nearly 80 people dead.



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