2 cops killed in Srinagar militant attack, 1 injured

Police and paramilitary personnel gather at the site of a militant attack in Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar on Friday morning. Habib Naqash/GK

Two policemen of Indian Reserve Police were killed and another injured when militants opened fire on a joint party of police and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) in Nowgam by-pass area of Srinagar Friday morning.

The attack took place at around 9.15 am when, according to reports, at least two militants opened fire on the security party at Gulshan Nagar Nowgam.

Officials identified the slain policemen as Ishfaq Ahmed and Fayaz Ahmed. The injured was identified as Muhammad Ashraf. The policemen belonged to 20 Battalion of IRP and were deployed at the by-pass as a part of August 15 security enhancement.

A senior police officer told the Greater Kashmir that the militants opened fire on the police party with AK assault rifles and managed to escape.

He said that three injured cops were rushed to hospital where doctors declared two dead.

The senior police officer said that a joint operation was launched by army, police and paramilitary forces, however nobody was arrested. “Hunt is on to track the attackers.”

The incident created panic in the entire area and traffic on the highway was distrusted for some time.

Soon after the incident, senior police officers that included Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal, officers from paramilitary and army arrived at the spot.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar told reporters that militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) was responsible for the attack. “The militants have been identified and they will be neutralised soon,” he said.

At the wreath-laying ceremony held here, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said, “We are in the process of identification of attackers and we will act against them very soon.”

He said that such attacks are carried out when there is improvement in situation. “Our neighbour (Pakistan) can’t tolerate peace prevailing in the Valley and keeps trying to carry out acts like the one today to disrupt peaceful atmosphere,” he said, adding that every effort will be made so that peace prevails.

He said that security across the valley, particularly in Srinagar, will be strengthened. He said that they will be using drones and CCTV fitted vehicles besides physical deployment.

“We will intensify the (anti-militancy) operations in the coming days. I am confident that our efforts to strengthen peace will continue,” he added.

LG’s Advisor RR Bhatnagar also paid tributes to the slain cops and stated that entire UT government shares the pain and stands with the families of the two cops.

In a press statement, police said a wreath-lying ceremony was held in Armed Police Complex Humhama, where floral tributes were paid to the martyrs.

“RR Bhatnagar advisor to LG J&K led civil and police officers in paying tributes and laying floral wreath on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the martyrs. DGP J&K Dilbag Singh-IPS, ADGsP RR Swain, AK Chowdray, SJM Gillani, AG Mir, IGP CRPF (OPS) Rajesh Kumar, IGP  Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar, IGP CRPF SK Yadav, IGP CRPF PK Panday, DIG CRPF DS Maan, SSP Srinagar M. Haseeb Mughal, SSP Budgam Amod Ashok Nagpuri, Commandant IRP 13th BN Shamshair Hussain and Commandant IRP 20th  BN Baqar Samoon, other senior officers and jawans of the police and security forces also laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the martyrs.

“The martyrs bodies were later on handed over to their next of kins for last rites.

“We pay our rich tributes to the martyrs for their supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty,” the police statement said.