Two cops killed in Baghat attack; 3 militants killed in Shopian encounter; cop killed, another injured in Beerwah encounter
Srinagar: Militants fired at and killed two unarmed policemen in an upmarket Srinagar area, an incident witnessed by several people and captured on CCTV cameras, police said on Friday.
“The two policemen were on duty at Baghat on the high-security airport road when they were attacked. The terrorist can be seen pulling out an assault rifle hidden inside his ‘pheran’ (a loose over-garment worn during winters) and pumping bullets at them at close range”, police said while referring to CCTV footage of the incident.
The attacker can be seen fleeing from the spot as people scatter around in horror.
“We have identified the terrorist and we will soon catch hold of him,” Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh was quoted as saying by PTI.
The two policemen were rushed to SMHS hospital. Constable Suhail was the first one to succumb while his colleague, Constable Mohammed Yusuf, lost the battle of life as he was being wheeled into the operation theatre, police said.
Immediately after the incident, police teams rushed to the area and took into their possession recordings from CCTVs installed by shops and houses. This led them to identify the militants involved in the attack.
Sharing details about the incident, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range Vijay Kumar said that two Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists, including a local resident, carried out the attack in which two policemen were killed in Baghat area of Barzulla. He said that both attackers have been identified.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a wreath laying ceremony of two slain cops at DPL Srinagar, the IGP said that two LeT terrorists including a foreign militant and a local who has been identified as Saqib, carried out the Baghat attack.
“The two policemen were on a routine duty and were at a shop to buy something. They were fired from the back. They were totally unarmed,” IGP Kumar said.
He said that both the attackers will be tracked down soon.
“We will go for a security review and plug the loopholes. Had the policemen been carrying weapons, perhaps they would have retaliated,” the IGP said.
Asked if a civilian has been detained at Baghat area, the Kashmir police chief said that nobody has been detained or arrested.
“May be someone has been detained for routine questioning,” he said and paid tributes to the slain cops who were identified as Suhail Ahmed and Muhammad Yousuf, residents of Ashmuqam, Anantnag, and Zurhama, Kupwara.
Meanwhile, three militants were killed in an overnight encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said Friday.
According to a police statement, later Thursday evening, based on specific input regarding presence of militants in Badigam village of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by police along with the troops of 44RR and 178Bn CRPF.
After ascertaining the presence of militants, repeated announcements were made urging the holed up militants to surrender, police said, adding that the militants did not heed these appeals and instead fired indiscriminately.
Owing to darkness, the operation was suspended during the night even as the cordon remained intact.
With the first light Friday morning, “the joint party managed to evacuate the inmates of the house where the militants were holed up, and again urged the militants to surrender. But the militants fired indiscriminately on security forces, which was retaliated.”
During the ensuing encounter, all the three hiding militants were killed, police said while identifying the slain militants as Suhail Sheikh alias Azeem, son of Abdul Ghani Sheikh of Turkwangam; Shahid Ahmad Dar alias Furkan, son of Bashir Ahmad Dar, resident of Samboora Awantipora, and Muddasir Ahmad Wagay, son of Fayaz Ahmad Wagay, resident of Chak Sangren.
Police said they were affiliated with proscribed Al-Badr militant outfit.
The bodies of all the three militants were retrieved from the site of encounter along with arms and ammunition including two AK rifles, five AK magazines, 96 AK rounds, one pistol, one pistol magazine, five pistol rounds and other incriminating materials.
Meanwhile, in another incident, police in Budgam along with 53RR and 79Bn CRPF launched a joint cordon and search operation in Zanigam village of Beerwah.
During the search operation the hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party in which two J&K police personnel — Mohammad Altaf (1444/SPO) and SgCt Manzoor Ahmad (761/AP 13th Bn) received gunshot injuries.
One of the injured cops — Mohammad Altaf succumbed to his injuries and while another injured policeman has been shifted to a hospital, police said in a statement.
It said taking advantage of the darkness, the militants, believed to be two in number, managed to escape in an injured condition from the spot. Efforts are on to track them, police statement said.
Sharing details of the encounter, Kashmir police chief Vijay Kumar here said that two militants escaped in an injured condition after exchanging fire with the security forces.
He said there were reports of presence of a militant Yusuf Kandroo and another foreign militant.
“It seems that two militants sustained injuries in the first exchange given the blood trail that was seen up to two kilometres from the site of the encounter. “We have cordoned off the village where the blood trail ended and searches are on,” he said.