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“Arrested militant killed in grenade attack”

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One cop injured in the attack

Srinagar, Feb 26: A militant who was in police custody was killed Monday when his accomplices reportedly lobbed a hand-grenade at a police station in Pulwama district in a bid to facilitate his escape, police said.

A police spokesman said at around 12:30 pm, Hizbul Mujahideen militant Mushtaq Ahmad Chopan “tried to escape” from the Tral police station wearing a ‘burqa’ but was stopped by the sentry.

“Right then -- when Chopan had reached the main gate of the police station -- someone from outside lobbed a grenade as a part of the planned conspiracy to divert the attention (of police personnel) so that he could escape conveniently," the spokesman claimed.

The grenade exploded inside the police station, near Chopan, resulting in his death, he said, adding that a policeman identified as Constable Mehraj Din was also injured in the attack.

The spokesman said that a magisterial inquiry has been initiated under Section 176 of the CrPC.

Spokesman also informed that Mushtaq Ahmad Chopan alias Haroon, son of Ghulam Muhammad of Wagad, Tral, was arrested from Baramulla district's Sopore area, but his custody was transferred recently to the police station in connection with a militancy-related case.

"A militant Mushtaq Ahmad Chopan died in grenade explosion when challenged by sentry while trying to escape from Police Station Tral," Director General of Police SP Vaid said in a tweet.

This is the third attack on the police in the past 24 hours.

Two policemen were killed in separate attacks by militants in the Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district and the Soura area of the city yesterday.

Spokesman said while the injured policeman was shifted to the Army hospital, the dead body of the militant is being taken for autopsy.

Meanwhile, in the evening after Chopan’s body was handed over to his family, hundreds of people participated in his funeral prayers.

Amid massive protests, funeral prayers were held for slain Hizb militant, Mushtaq Ahmad Chopan at his native village in Wagad hamlet of Aripal tehsil in Tral sub-district.

Locals said the two masked militants also appeared in the gathering and fired many rounds in the air to offer “gun salute” to their slain colleague. Reports said that the villagers have decided to perform slain militant's burial on Tuesday morning.

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