May 2016 News

Militants Strike In Srinagar, 3 Cops Including Officer Killed

23 May 2016
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: After a gap of three years, militants today carried out a major strike in Srinagar killing three policemen, including an officer, and decamped with service rifle of one of the cops. Police tonight achieved a major success by killing chief commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad militant outfit and his associate in a fierce gun battle in Srinagar's City Centre. Police on special information raided a house in busy City Centre, Sarai Bala area of Maharaja Bazar, hardly half a kilometer from Srinagar's Civil Secretariat and killed JeM Chief, Saifullah and his associate in an hour long gun battle. This is a major success for the security forces as they were tracking Saifullah for last few months in Handwara and Lolab areas of North Kashmir. These two militants are believed to have entered Srinagar yesterday. Security agencies are not ruling out their role in carrying out twin cop killings in Srinagar today. Militants who were riding a motor cycle stopped near the Mill Stop in Zadibal area of Srinagar and fired at the two cops from point blank range. The two cops who were left in a pool of blood, died on the spot. The deceased have been identified as Assistant Sub Inspector, Ghulam Mohammad and Head Constable Nazir Ahmad. The cops were posted at Zadibal Police Station and were at a naka duty. The senior Police officers rushed to the spot and the area was sealed. A shopkeeper outside whose shop the attack took place was questioned by the Police. Traffic on the road remained disrupted for over an hour, however, it was later restored. In the second strike, militants shot at Constable Mohammad Sadiq, who was posted as personal security guard to chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Pasmanda Tabqajaat, Mohammad Abdullah Chatwal, at Tengpora on Parimpora-Hyderpora Bypass road at around noon. The cop was in a car on Tengpora Bypass and Chatwal had gone to his office when militants targeted him. He was fired at from point blank range leaving him in a pool of blood. The militants also snatched the service rifle of the injured cop before fleeing from the spot. The attack took place at around 12 noon and the cop was rushed to Police hospital at Batamaloo where he succumbed to injuries. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the cop killings. They have warned of more such attacks. Police and other security agencies are investigating the attacks and they suspect that two youth who joined the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group from Srinagar city recently. Sources said that the preliminary inquiry conducted by Police suggests that these two militants carried out the attack at Zadibal first and later they killed a cop at Tengpora. This is major strike in Srinagar city after three years. The last such attack took place on June 22, 2013 when two policemen were shot dead at Hari Singh High Street, Srinagar. This was followed by another major strike on June 24 when militants targeted an Army convoy at Srinagar Bypass killing around a dozen Army men. Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, has expressed deep shock over the killing of three policemen. She visited the Police Control Room (PCR) in Srinagar where she laid floral wreath on the mortal remains of the slain police personnel. She expressed solidarity with the bereaved families and prayed for peace to the departed souls. Recalling the sacrifices of police personnel in combating militancy in the State, Mehooba in a statement said such dastardly acts are against the basic tenets of humanity and they should be condemned by one and all. 'My heart goes out to the families of the slain police personnel and I hope that the perpetrators will be taken to task soon,' the statement said. Mehbooba said such attacks are attempts by vested interests to derail the peace and reconciliation process started by the State government which will also impact the economy at a time when the tourism activity had started picking up in the State. Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, described the killing of three policemen as 'unfortunate', and called for united efforts to defeat the designs of those inimical to peace, prosperity and development in the State. 'It is unfortunate. Time has come when we all should join hands to counter the forces inimical to peace, prosperity and development,' he said. Singh said such incidents would not deter the Government in its pursuit for peace, prosperity and development. 'Such incidents and inimical forces will not deter our determination to restore peace and order or sabotage our mission for development and provide succor to the common man. Such incidents will not weaken our resolve,' he said. Deputy Chief Minister said the government, security forces, police are making sacrifices and 'the three policemen have joined the list of martyrs'. Director General of Police, K Rajendra Kumar, described the twin attacks as 'desperate act' by militants to show their presence in Srinagar. 'It is a desperate act, attacking unarmed policemenit is basically a desperate act to show their presence,' he said. The DGP, on the sidelines of the wreath laying function of the slain cops held at Police Control Room Srinagar, said the militants have become desperate after security forces registered success against them by eliminating their leadership and newly infiltrating groups. 'You have been seeing, of late, security forces are getting very good successes, in neutralizing militant leadership. Newly infiltrated groups have also been wiped off. It is basically a desperate act to show their presence,' said Rajindra. On Hizbul Mujahideen claiming responsibility for the twin attacks, the Police chief said that police is investigating. 'We will investigate, rest of things, are a matter of investigation and we will investigate and will come back to you with facts,' he said. Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, senior Police, army and CRPF officers paid floral tributes to the three cops at the PCR, Srinagar. Earlier in the morning, Police and 52-RR averted a major tragedy at Delina in North Kashmir's Baramulla district by recovering an 8 kilogramme IED. The IED was concealed in a pressure cooker and planted on the highway. It was later defused by the Bomb Disposal Squad.