SRINAGAR - Unidentified gunmen Thursday evening killed a local leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Anil Parihar and his brother in Indian-occupied Kashmir, police said.

The duo was fired upon at their locality in Parihar Mohalla in Kishtwar town, about 217 km south of Srinagar city.

“This evening gunmen killed BJP state secretary Anil Parihar and his brother Ajit Parihar while they were walking towards their residence,” a senior Indian police official told Xinhua.

“The duo was shot from a point-blank range.”

Locals said the two were immediately taken to the nearest hospital but doctors there declared them dead. Police were trying to ascertain if the attack was carried out by the freedom fighters or it was a criminal incident. “It is too early to tell who is behind the attack,” the official said.

India’s junior minister in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh expressed shock over the incident. “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,” Singh tweeted.