Reyaz Rashid

2 cops, 2 civilians killed in Sopore militant attack

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Police SI among three others injured; LG, political parties condemn Sopore attack

Sopore: Two cops and two civilians were killed and three others including a Sub-Inspector of police were injured after suspected militants attacked police party in Arampora area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Saturday.

A top police official the cops were on Covid-19 duty when they came under attack in the Sopore town.

Officials that at least seven persons were injured including four cops and three civilians in the attack

Police said that the injured were rushed to Sub District Hospital Sopore where doctors declared two cops and two civilians dead on arrival, while two of the injured civilians were referred to Srinagar, and another was being treated in Sopore SDH. Injured cops were evacuated to the Army hospital in Srinagar.

Authorities identified the slain cops as Constable Waseem Ahmad, son of Mohammad Saqid Bhat of Narbal Srinagar, and Constable Showkat Ahmad, son of Abdul Gani, resident of Goripora Beerwah Budgam. The two slain civilians were identified as Bashir Ahmad Khan, son of Ghulam Hassan Khan of Taliyan Sopore, and Manzoor Ahmad Shalla, son of Ghulam Qadir of Shalimar Colony Sopore.

The injured were identified as SPO Showkat Ahmad Shalla, son of Ghulam Qadir of Shalimar Colony Sopore, Sub-Inspector Mukesh Kumar of Police Station Sopore, Danish Ahmad of Police Station Sopore, Tariq Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Nabi of Kralteng Sopore, and Nayeem Ahmad, son of Mohmmad Maqbool Khan of Maharajpora Sopore.

Immediately after the attack, the area has been cordoned off and a hunt launched to nab the attackers even as the senior police officers reached the spot to assess the situation.

A police official said that militants of Lashker-e-Toiba were behind the attack.

He said that the firing was retaliated by the police party during which some police personnel and civilians, who had set up their fruit and vegetables stalls nearby, also got injured.

He said they were looking into all possible angles of the attack and forces have launched a follow-up operation in the area and the perpetrators of the crime will be soon brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and different political parties here on Saturday condemned the militant attack on security forces in Sopore and described it as a cowardly and mindless act.

“Strongly condemn the terror attack on civilians and security personnel at Sopore, Baramulla. My sincere condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this attack. Praying for the early recovery of injured,” LG Sinha said on Twitter.

He said the perpetrators of the violence are the enemies of humanity and such a despicable and cowardly act will not go unpunished.

Former chief minister and National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah said such attacks must be condemned without reservation.

“Terrible news coming in from Sopore. Such attacks must be condemned without reservation. Prayers for the injured and condolences to the families of the deceased,” he said in a tweet.

Condemning the attack, the NC said the government must ensure a stop to such incidents.

“JKNC unequivocally condemns the killing of two cops and a civilian in Sopore today and prays that the bereaved families find enough strength to bear the irreparable loss,” it said.

“The government must ensure a stop to such brutal loss of lives” the NC said on its official Twitter handle.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said guns cannot resolve any issue and dialogue was the way forward.

“We condemn such attacks. They will not resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mehbooba told reporters in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

The former chief minister said such attacks defame the people of Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) described that attack as “cowardice and mindless”.

In a statement, the party also expressed anguish over the loss of lives and expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of the slain policemen and civilians.

The party expressed grave concern over “regular” militant attacks on policemen and other security forces and blamed the government for “failing to contain the situation”.

Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) chief Sajad Gani Lone said gun enslaves the very people that it purports to fight for.

“When will this madness end. Gun came to Kashmir in 1989. 32 years down the line. I can unambiguously state that gun enslaves the very people that it purports to fight for. The gunmen really need to ponder whose war they are fighting,” he said in a tweet.

Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Jammu and Kashmir spokesman Altaf Thakur while condemning the attack, said terror has no place in Kashmir and the killing of innocents is a barbaric and cowardly act.

CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that violence in any form is not in the interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Such incidents leave a question before everybody that for how long the blood of people will continue to flow in Kashmir? Violence and killings can never be a solution to any problem. Violence in any form is highly condemnable and must come to an immediate end,” Tarigami said.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari condemned the attack and termed it most gruesome and heart wrenching.

He said the senseless violence has ravaged all the sections of the society in Jammu and Kashmir, inflicting a heavy toll on precious human lives.

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