Cop critically wounded, gunfight raging on in Karan Nagar
SRINAGAR: A CRPF trooper was killed while a policeman was critically injured after militants attempted to storm a CRPF battalion headquarters at Karan Nagar in Srinagar on Monday.
The attack on the camp has come just two days after militants staged a fidayeen attack at the army’s military station in Jammu in which nine persons, including five soldiers, three militants and a civilian were killed.
According to the government, the militants attempted to enter the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) 23 Bn headquarters at around 4:30 am on Monday. It said a CRPF sentry, who spotted two militants carrying backpacks and armed with AK 47 rifles, opened fire on them.
“Afterwards, the militants escaped towards a nearby locality,” minister for Revenue, Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri told the Legislative Assembly in Jammu on Monday.
The minister said that after searching the area, the government forces were fired upon by militants near Gole Market Karan Nagar in the morning which was retaliated leading to an encounter.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat said that militants have taken refuge in a four-storey building close to the CRPF camp.
Timeline of 2017 attacks
31 December 2017: Three Jaish militants staged a fidayeen attack on CRPF camp at Lethpora in Pampore leaving five troopers dead.
03 October 2017: Jaish militants carried out fidayeen attack on a BSF camp near the highly secured Srinagar International Airport. A BSF officer was killed while three others sustained injuries.
16 August 2017: Eight government forces including four CRPF troopers were killed when fidayeen stormed District Police Lines Pulwama.
16 June 2017: Six Policemen including station house officer were killed in militant attack in Achabal Anatnag
27 April 2017: In a fidayeen attack by militants, three army soldiers and two militants were killed at Panjgaon in Kupwara’s Chowkibal
23 February 2017: Three troopers and were killed after militants attacked a patrolling party at Mulu Chitragam in Shopian.
“When the attack was repulsed by the sentry, the militants took shelter in the building,” Bhat said. “One CRPF man has been killed while a policeman sustained injuries. The encounter is still on.”
The killed CRPF soldier was identified as Mujahid Khan from Bihar. The police said the injured policeman was in a stable condition
Soon after the fierce gun battle started between the militants and troops, forces sealed off all the roads leading to the area close to Srinagar’s Government Medical College.
Huge contingents of CRPF and police were pressed into service while the army assisted them in the operations to counter the militants.
The officials did not disclose the number of militants holed up in the building. Clashes between forces and youth erupted in the adjacent Kani Kadal area during the gunfight. The government reduced mobile internet speed.
The rattle of gunfire along with the loud thud of explosions continued to break the uneasy silence of Srinagar. Policemen and CRPF soldiers stationed on the ground said the forces were targeting the building with the explosives to end the gunfight.
The encounter was on when this report was being filed.
“So far we can only say that the encounter is on,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) SP Pani told Kashmir Reader at around 7 pm. “There is no further development”.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement to the media, a Lashkar spokesman stated, “The freedom fighters of Lashkar-e-Taiba continue to seize control of the stronghold in Karan Nagar (Srinagar).”
In the nearby SMHS Hospital, militants killed two policemen and ensured the freeing of jailed Lashkar commander Naveed Jatt last week on February 6.