Srinagar: In the second such incident within 24 hours, suspected militants attempted to snatch a rifle from another policeman in Srinagar on Thursday.
A police official said that the incident happened outside the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar in the evening.
“An alert policeman foiled the attempt,” he said.
Kashmir Inspector-General of Police Munir Ahmad Khan told Kashmir Reader that “It was some drug addict who had tried to snatch the rifle.”
Downplaying the rifle-snatching attempt, he pointed out that there is “militancy in the valley”.
“However, we will take care,” he added. “We will take appropriate measures to check these incidents.”
The incident happened less than 24 hours after an INSAS rifle was snatched from a policeman who was guarding the Khanqah-i-Maula shrine in downtown Srinagar. The suspected militants managed to flee with the rifle and reinforcements rushed to the area could not find them.
Rifle-snatching incidents had become quite frequent in south Kashmir in recent months, but they have now come to a halt. The rifle snatching on Wednesday evening outside the Khanqah-i-Moula had reportedly happened for the first time in Srinagar.
Though denying any “trend or pattern” of rifle-snatching in Srinagar, a top police official posted in the Nowhatta area told this newspaper, “There is no connection between the Khanqah-i-Maula incident and the Jamia Masjid one. These incidents will continue to happen till militancy is here, and if the cops are alert, the gun snatchers will not be successful.”
He said that the cop whose rifle was snatched on Wednesday evening from Khanqah-i-Maula has been arrested by the police. “Normally, after proper investigation, such cops are discharged from their services,” he said.