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J&K political parties condemn killing of cop, his family

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Srinagar: The killing of a Special Police Officer and his family by militants has sent shock waves across Kashmir with political parties terming it a “dastardly and cowardly” act and a blot on the security scenario in the Valley.

Officials on Monday said Fayaz Ahmed, his wife, Raja Begum, and 22-year-old daughter, Rafia, were in their house in Hariparigam in Awantipora area of South Kashmir when militants barged inside at 11 pm on Sunday and indiscriminately opened fire on them. The village is located around 50 kms south of Srinagar city.

Ahmad was declared brought dead at the hospital, while his wife passed away during the night and the daughter succumbed on Monday morning.

The area was cordoned off and a manhunt launched to track down the assailants but no arrests have been made so far, the officials said on Monday.

Militants have intensified attacks on police and security forces recently. While an inspector and a constable were killed in Nowgam and Eidgah areas of Srinagar last week, a civilian died in a grenade attack on security forces at Barbarshah in the heart of the city.

The killing of the SPO and his family shook the Valley with politicians across the board condemning it.

“I unreservedly condemn the dastardly and cowardly militant attack on the JK police SPO Fayaz Ahmed, his wife and his young daughter at their home last night. I pray they receive their place in Jannat and their loved ones find strength during this terrible time,” National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

The NC called the incident a blot on the security scenario in Kashmir.

“JKNC unequivocally condemns the barbaric killing of ex-SPO Fayaz Ahmad, his wife and their 23-year-old daughter. It is a dastardly, inhuman act and a blot on the security scenario in Kashmir,” the NC said on its Twitter handle.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “No words are strong enough to condemn the cowardly attack in Awantipora that claimed the lives of a JKP officer Fayaz Ahmad, his wife and daughter. May Allah Ta’aala grant them maghfirat (peace) and their loved ones the fortitude to bear this loss (sic).”

Senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said killing unarmed civilians cannot be justified in any way.

“Killing innocents, including women, is highly condemnable and such incidents have no place in the civilised world. Attacking civilians by the combatants is an act of cowardice and must be condemned by all-in-one voice,” Tarigami said.

He said cycles of violence have been going on in Kashmir for more than three decades, “but what has been achieved so far?”

“Whom does violence suit? There is a need to ponder over the persistent violence, and society must come out and express itself against such brutal acts of violence,” he said.

Peoples Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Gani Lone said the news of the killing was “extremely distressing” and called the perpetrators “thugs of violence”.

“Woke up to extremely distressing news of violence. An entire family fell to bullets. No respite from these thugs of violence. May they rest in peace. May the family muster courage to bear this loss,” Lone said in a tweet.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party president Mohammad Altaf Bukhari described the killings as heart-wrenching and extremely inhuman.

“These killings only add to the sufferings and miseries of people in J&K. I have always reiterated that violence in any of its manifestations and motivated by any of the extremist ideologies in the world only begets violence and yields nothing positive for a human civilization,” he added.

He urged the J&K administration to review the security situation and take all necessary measures to prevent such attacks on “soft targets”.

The BJP also condemned the attack as cowardly and barbaric, saying barging into the house of a SPO and killing him and his family members was nothing but a “pure form of terrorism”.

“The act deserves the strongest condemnation and that those behind the act will meet the same fate. What was the fault of the innocent wife and daughter of the policeman? The killing (of) women is (in) no way bravery, but a pure cowardly attack which deserves the highest form of condemnation,” a BJP spokesman said.

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