Attack hours ahead of HM’s scheduled visit
Anantnag: A head constable was killed and another policeman injured after militants fired at their party in the busy General Bus Stand (GBS) area of main town Anantnag.
The attack comes hours ahead of Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to the southern district.
Singh, on a four-day visit to the Valley, is scheduled to visit the District Police Lines (DPL) Anantnag on Sunday which is located less than a kilometre from the site of today’s attack.
The slain constable has been identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad and the injured policeman as Shabir Ahmad.
Inspector General of Police Munir Khan, confirmed the attack and the killing while talking to Kashmir Reader.
“The attackers were riding a motorcycle and have left behind a magazine and a bag while they fled from the spot,” Khan said.
He said that the attack was not a security lapse as nakas had been established in the wake of the beefed-up security around the HM’s visit. One such naka came under militant fire from a distance of around 40 yards.
A police official told Kashmir Reader that the attack took place at about 5:15 pm Saturday evening inside the GBS and very close to the police post.
“The militants, taking advantage of the heavy footfall inside the GBS, fired in an indiscriminate fashion leaving two of our men injured,’ a senior police official said.
He said the fire was retaliated, but the militants managed to flee.
“The injured were shifted to the nearby district hospital where one was declared brought dead with bullet injuries to his face and another is being treated and is stable,” the official said.
He said that a combing was underway in the area to try and nab the attackers.
The attack created panic in the area as people, including local shopkeepers and hawkers, fled to take cover.
“What added to the mayhem was the fact that the police kept firing in the air for a while. They in fact fired all the way while taking the injured to hospital,” eyewitnesses told Kashmir Reader.
The attack has come on a day when more than 20 villages in Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir were under siege by government forces on the lookout for the militants.
The CASOs ended without the militants being traced.
Today’s attack was similar to one carried out on June 4 last year by slain LeT commander Junaid Mattoo just outside the GBS gates and less than 50 meters from the site of today’s attack.
Two policemen, one of them an officer, were killed in the attack carried out days ahead of the parliamentary bypolls on 22 June 2016.
Militants in the past few months have carried out some major attacks in Anantnag district.
One June 16 this year, six policemen, including a Station House Officer, were killed in Thajiwara village of Achabal, only six kms from main town Anantnag.
On July 10, suspected militants attacked a bus ferrying Amarnath Yatris, leaving at least eight Yatris dead and over two dozen others injured.
On August 28, an Assistant Sub-Inspector was killed in Mahendi Kadal area of main town a few hundred metres from the site of today’s attack.
On September 4, at least four paramilitary CRPF men were injured after militants hurled a grenade at their party in Qazigund area of Anantnag district.
Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was held at JIC Anantnag.