Militants Kill Valley Cops

1 November 2009
The Telegraph (Kolkata)

Srinagar: Militants struck in Srinagar city today, killing two police constables in a daylight shooting, days after the high-profile visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister P. Chidambaram. During their visit, both Singh and Chidambaram had claimed a significant improvement in the situation here. The militants, who were carrying pistols, surfaced at the busy Qamarwari locality of Srinagar and fired at two policemen on duty from close range. Head constable Manzoor Ahmad died on the spot while his colleague Abdul Qabir succumbed to his injuries in hospital. “Both of them were posted with Qamarwari police station,” Kashmir police chief Farooq Ahmad said. In another incident, a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, Mohammad Farooq alias Abu Talha, was killed in a fierce encounter at Bal Angralla-Mahore in Reasi district of Jammu. Police said the encounter between 61 Rashtriya Rifles and militants broke out last night. Militants are increasingly targeting major cities and towns across Kashmir, which were relatively calm for years. The rebels have regrouped taking advantage of the engagement of the security forces in quelling street protests against the Amarnath land hand-over and the alleged Shopian rape and murders. The militants last struck at Sopore, an important north Kashmir town, on September 29 by adopting similar hit-and-run techniques, killing three CRPF jawans. On August 1, militants had shot at two CRPF men and a Jammu and Kashmir policeman at two different places within a radius of 2km in Srinagar city, leaving two of the victims dead and the third injured. On August 31, militants launched two back-to-back attacks in the heart of Srinagar, leaving two CRPF men dead and over 25 others, including 20 civilians, injured. The resurgence of militant attacks in the city comes as the Union government prepares for talks with the moderate separatist leaders. Such attacks are seen as a reminder to the Hurriyat doves that the militants are alive and would not allow any “sellout” on Kashmir. The militants are against bilateral negotiations with New Delhi.