3 rifles also looted; Jaish claims attack
Shopian: Militants shot dead four policemen in broad daylight at Arhama village on the outskirts of Shopian town Wednesday afternoon. The incident took place at about 3:30pm near the HDFC Bank branch at Arhama.
According to police sources, five cops had come to a mechanic’s shop for repairs of their Rakshak vehicle. Eyewitnesses saw four masked militants get out from a car close to the shop and then immediately shooting at the policemen, repeatedly. Eyewitnesses said that all the four cops died on the spot, while one cop survived the attack as he was inside the vehicle. Sources said militants also
At the attack site, blood lay all over the ground at four different spots. Police sources said that the policemen were part of the escort team of the Deputy Superintendent of Police, headquarters, Shopian.
Soon after the attack, government forces reached the spot and eyewitnesses and shopkeepers there said that they ransacked property, beat up people, and smashed the windshields of parked cars. They also restored to aerial firing, people said.
The four slain policemen were identified by police as Ct Javid Ahmad Bhat, son of Nazir Ahmad Bhat, resident of Panzrat HMT Srinagar; Ct Muhammad Iqbal Mir, son of Abdul Rehman Mir, resident of Hudur Chaman Baramula; Ct Ishfaq Ahmad Mir, son of Muhammad Malik Mir, resident of Rafiabad Baramula; and SPO Adil Ahmad Bhat, son of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, resident of Zawoora Shopian.
Doctors at District Hospital Shopian told Kashmir Reader that two of the four cops were brought to the hospital but they were declared dead. They said that both the cops had many firearm injuries on their head, chest and arms.
A wreath-laying ceremony for the slain policemen was held at District Police Lines Shopian where Director General of Police SP Vaid, Additional Director General of Police Muneer Ahmad Khan, and Kashmir Range Inspector General of Police SP Pani attended.
Eyewitnesses said that government forces damaged more than a dozen vehicles near the site of the attack. They said that they were trying to take the cops to hospital but the forces beat them and damaged their cars.
Soon after the attack, shops and business establishments shut down while chaos spread in the town.
The bodies of the cops were taken to Balpora army base of 12 RR, from where the bodies were airlifted to police control room Srinagar.
A police spokesperson said that the four cops had sustained gunshot wounds and were evacuated to a nearby hospital but all of them succumbed to their injuries. Police have registered a case and initiated investigations, the spokesperson said.
SPO Adil Ahmad Bhat was laid to rest at his native village of Zawoora in Shopian, a kilometre away from Shopian police lines. He was the eldest among his siblings and had been working for the police as SPO since 17 months ago. Family members said he was 21 years old.
About 400 people attended the funeral prayers of Adil. His body was laid to rest at about 6pm. Adil has left behind a sister, a brother, and his parents.
Meanwhile, Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed owned responsibility saying its cadres along with Hizbul Mujahideen militants carried the attack.