Burqa-clad militant seen on CCTV knocking on door; four militants involved in attack, two of them Srinagar youths, says IGP
Srinagar: Militants killed a policeman guarding the residence of a BJP leader in Aribagh, Nowgam area of Srinagar, and fled with his service rifle on Thursday afternoon.
As per police, militants fired at the police guard stationed outside the residence of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Muhammad Anwar Khan at Aribagh on Srinagar outskirts. The policeman was critically injured and he later succumbed to his injuries at SMHS hospital.
The slain cop of Jammu and Kashmir Police was identified as Constable Rameez Raja, a resident of Anantnag district. His father, Abdul Salaam Itoo, is said to have also died in the line of duty a few years ago.
Anwar Khan, a senior BJP leader currently holding the position of General Secretary for Baramulla and in-charge of Kupwara district for this party, suffered no harm as the militants fled from the spot immediately after getting hold of the injured policeman’s service rifle, reports said.
Soon after the attack, government forces sealed the entire area and launched massive searches to nab the militants. Senior police officers also rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony for the slain cop that four militants were involved in the attack. He said that two of them belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and two were yet to be identified.
“At the time of the attack, one sentry guard along with his two other associates was present at the guard post. The CCTV footage clearly shows that a burqa-clad militant knocked on the door and as the guard opened the door, two militants fired indiscriminately, due to which one among them got killed,” Kumar said.
During the attack, he said, the militants fled with the rifle from the spot. “Initially, it looked like the burqa-clad militant was a female but after examining the CCTV footage properly, it turned out to be a male militant who had morphed his voice to mislead the sentry on duty,” Kumar said.
The IGP said that two among the four militants involved in the act have been identified as linked with LeT, and both are residents of Srinagar city. “Of the four militants involved, two of them belong to LeT outfit. One among them has been identified as Shahid Khursheed Dar, a resident of Chanpora, a categorised militant, while the other one, Ubaid Shafi Dar, also belongs to Srinagar city,” Kumar said.
Both of them, he informed, joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) last year. “We will work and generate inputs, and as such, the militants involved in this act will be neutralised soon. We’ve been conducting search operations for the past three months but haven’t yet achieved any success in catching these militants. Even today, we had launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) at Chanapora and in future we will intensify such operations further,” Kumar added.
The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, the IG CRPF, and other senior officers participated in the wreath-laying ceremony for the slain cop, held at the District Police Lines (DPL) Srinagar on Thursday late afternoon. They paid rich tributes and homage to the slain policeman.
Later, emotional scenes were witnessed when the body of the slain cop reached his home at Ara, Khushipora area of Anantnag district.