Municipal councillor, cop killed in Sopore attack

Another councillor critically injured; 4 cops suspended for alleged laxity in repulsing the militant attack
Municipal councillor, cop killed in Sopore attack

A municipal councillor and a personal security officer were killed while another councillor critically injured when militants attacked the meeting room of Municipal Council Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Monday.

The slain councillor has been identified as Riyaz Ahmad Pir while the PSO is Shafqat Nazir Khan. The injured councillor has been identified as Shams-U-Din Pir.

The attack happened at a time when a meeting of councillors was in progress. "A militant fired towards the meeting room," said a councillor who was present in the meeting.

Another councillor, Masrat Kar, said the meeting of councillors was scheduled at 12 pm, however it got delayed and started at around 12.40 pm. She said bullets came inside the meeting room, killing a councillor and injuring another.

"As we opened the door of the meeting room I saw my PSO lying in a pool of blood near the meeting room. The motive of the militant seemed to enter inside the meeting room and kill all the persons present there, however the retaliation of the PSO failed his attempt," she added.

She termed the lack of security at the venue one of the reasons for the easy access of the militant to the meeting room. While lashing at the authorities she said they had in advance asked for security arrangement for the meeting, however there was no response from the authorities.

However, SSP Sopore, Sudhanshu Verma, said that they did not receive any request for security from the councillors.

"There was no request to the police, otherwise adequate security arrangements would have been made," he said.

Soon after the attack, the security forces cordoned the area and launched a manhunt. The incident created panic in the area as a private school is in close vicinity of the Municipal Council Sopore. Scores of women were seen pleading with the security forces to allow them to the school so that they know about the safety of their children.

The Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that the attack was carried out by the LeT and its two militants, Mudasir Pandit – a local – and foreign militant, were involved in the incident.

The IGP visited the spot and later held a meeting with the army's sector commander, DIG CRPF and senior superintendent of police Sopore. Following the meeting, the IGP ordered the SSP Sopore for the suspension of four PSOs for their alleged laxity in repulsing the militant attack.

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