ZIA-UL-HAQ / BILAL HABIB
ANANTNAG: Five policemen and two contractual employees of Jammu and Kashmir Bank were killed when Hizbul Mujahideen militants attacked the bank’s van in southern Kulgam district on Monday afternoon. The attack took place near Pombai village at about 4pm and is being described as a ‘deadliest’ attack on the police in recent years.
Police sources said that the militants stopped the van when it was returning to Kulgam after dropping cash at the JK Bank branch in Manzgam. The militants opened fire at the van and killed on the spot the two bank guards and all the five policemen who were in the van as escorts. The bodies were taken to hospital where doctors declared them dead.
“All of them were brought dead to the hospital. They had received multiple bullet injuries,” the chief medical officer (CMO) of Kulgam Dr Muhammad Shafi told Kashmir Reader.
After carrying out the attack, the militants fled with four rifles of the slain policemen.
The policemen killed in the militant attack were identified as ASI Bashir Ahmad of Mandhole Kulgam, Farooq Ahmad of Nihama Kulgam, Muzaffar Ahmad of Qazigund, Muhammad Qasim and Ishfaq Ahmad. The two contractual bank guards killed in the attack were identified as Javed Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Mohd Dar of Vesu, and Muzaffar Ahmad Laway, son of Mohd Ayoub of Ladgoo Kulgam.
SSP Kulgam Shridhar Patel confirmed the killing of seven persons, including five policemen, in the militant attack. “Of the seven people killed in the attack, five were policemen and two JK Bank employees,” the SP told Kashmir Reader.
“There was no cash in the van when it was attacked by the militants. But looting the cash could have been the motive of the militants. They later fled with four service rifles,” he said.
The police officer said that the attack was carried out by militants of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
A wreath-laying ceremony was later held at district police lines for the killed cops.
Kashmir inspector general of police Syed Mujtaba Gilani, who led the wreath-laying ceremony, told reporters that a local militant Umar and some of his associates were responsible for the attack.