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Off-duty Police officer shot at, critically wounded while playing cricket in Srinagar’s Eidgah

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Srinagar: A police inspector was shot and critically wounded by a “Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist” on a cricket field in downtown Srinagar on Sunday, officials said.

“The officer, identified as Masroor Ahmad Wani, was playing cricket at the Eidgah playground when the lone terrorist fired three shots in the eye, abdomen and neck from close range,” police said.

Sources said that the officer hails from the same locality and given Sunday, was off-duty and playing cricket with his mates from the locality.

On Sundays, the Eidgah ground is usually filled with youngsters playing cricket and even today scores of cricket games were going on in the ground.

“Wani’s teammates ran after the terrorist but he fired in the air and fled through adjoining lanes,” the officials said.

Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar immediately rushed to the scene and took stock of the situation.

“We have identified the terrorist. His name is Basit Dar and he hails from Kulgam. He has been active for quite some time and working at the behest of his masters across the border,” Kumar said, adding that a Turkish revolver was used in carrying out the attack.

He said multiple teams have fanned out and raids are being conducted to nab the terrorist. “I am sure we will be catching him soon,” he said.

Believed to be in his late thirties, Wani was rushed to a hospital in Soura where he was undergoing an operation, the officials said, adding his condition was stated to be critical.

He was posted in the district police lines.

In a post on X, the Kashmir Zone Police stated, “Terrorists fired upon and injured Inspector Masroor Ahmad near Eidgah, Srinagar. He was immediately shifted to hospital for treatment. Preliminary investigation reveals that a pistol was used in this terror crime. Area cordoned off, case registered.”

The Resistance Front, “a shadow outfit of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group”, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Kumar later went to the hospital and enquired about the condition of the officer from the doctors. “Doctors have conducted one surgery and are planning another. Let us all hope and pray for him,” he added.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up with police and the CRPF intensifying checking in Srinagar and other towns following the attack, officials said.

The security forces have intensified the checking of vehicles and pedestrians in several parts of Srinagar city and other towns, especially in the south Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Kulgam, the officials said.

Mobile vehicle checkpoints have been established at all major intersections in Srinagar as well as at the city’s exit points, they added. (With inputs from PTI)

Photo Javed Khan

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