J&K BJP leader, wanted for murder, appears at MoS (PMO) house, BJP MLA requests newspaper not to carry news

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A BJP leader from Jammu and Kashmir, who is wanted in connection with a murder during 2013 communal clashes in Kishtwar, surfaced at the residence of Minister of State, PMO, Jitendra Singh on Friday.

Hari Krishan alias Kasooru can be seen with Singh and sitting BJP MLAs of Kishtwar, Doda and Bhaderwah in Jammu and Kashmir.

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While the MoS Singh denied any connection with the murder accused, a BJP MLA in the photo Sunil Sharma ‘urged Indian Express not to carry the news on Kasooru being a part of his delegation, which met the minister.

Singh told the paper, “We meet a large number of delegations daily and many of the people are not known to us.”

Incidentally, Kasooru had campaigned for both Singh and Sharma in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections respectively.

Among other leaders in the photo are Tariq Hussain Keen and Showkat Daing, who had contested the 2014 Assembly elections as BJP nominees from Inderwal and Banihal but lost.

Kasooru and nine others are accused of murdering 52-year-old Lassa Khandey during communal clashes in Kishtwar around Eid in 2013. Khandey was accompanying his injured son and brother in an ambulance to Gulabgarh, from where they were to be airlifted to the Udhampur Military Hospital. A mob had attacked the ambulance en route and abducted Khandey. His body was found by police next day.

In May 2015, Rohan Lal, who was wanted for burning alive one Bashir Ahmed Moochi, was also seen watching a cricket match in Kishtwar town along with the then Minister of State for Revenue and Roads & Buildings Sunil Sharma. Roshan Lal had left the venue along with the minister before police got alerted to his presence, and remains absconding.

According to Kishtwar Senior Superindent of Police Sandeep Wazir, of the nearly three dozen people wanted for murder during the Kishtwar riots, only seven had been arrested so far. Of them, two are out on bail.

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