SHOPIAN: Jaish militants stormed a police post guarding Pandit families in Shopian, killed four policemen, and decamped with their four service rifles Tuesday afternoon. The incident took place at Zainpora village, close to five security forces’ establishments that lay within a radius of 200 to 300 meters.
Locals said that two paramilitary CRPF camps, one Rashtriya Rifles camp of army, a police station, and the police SDPO headquarters are situated in the village peripheries.
A police officer told Kashmir Reader that the militants barged inside the house where the police post had been set up. He said all four cops stationed there were repeatedly shot with bullets inside the police post room. Villagers said that there was no retaliatory fire heard from the police. The attack was executed quickly, they said.
The police post was established to guard families of the minority Pandit community living in Zainpora sub-district headquarters in this south Kashmir region. Witnesses told Kashmir Reader that the attack took place at about 2pm.
They said that all four cops were taken to a nearby primary health centre (PHC) in Zainpora where three of them were declared brought dead. The fourth injured cop was shifted to a Srinagar hospital under critical condition, but he succumbed on the way.
The four policemen were identified as Anees Ahmad, constable (480/Spn), resident of Kulgam town; Abdul Majid, senior grade constable (193/SPN), resident of Ganderbal; Merajuddin, constable (477/SPN), resident of Hajin in Bandipora. The fourth cop who was critically injured and succumbed on way to hospital was identified as Constable Hamidullah (860/SPN), resident of Anantnag.
A wreath-laying ceremony for the slain cops was held at district police lines Shopian where senior police officers offered tributes.
The toll of policemen killed this year in Shopian district has reached 14. Four cops were killed in a militant attack on 28 August at Arhama on the outskirts of Shopian town; a policeman was killed on September 30 in a militant attack on police station Shopian; three policemen on vacation at home were killed in Kapran area of Shopian on September 21; on August 6 a policemen on leave at home was abducted and killed; and on November 16, an SPO was abducted from Reban and killed.
The Jaish-e-Muhammad militant in a statement to a local news agency claimed responsibility for the attack.
The area was cordoned off by a joint team of government forces in a bid to try nab the assailants, but the searches had yielded no results by the time this report was filed.
Several photos of the looted rifles in Zainpora were circulated on social media. The photos showed four rifles and a big torch looted by the militants from the police post.