'We lost a well-trained counter-insurgency cop'

Terming the Pantha Chowk encounter a successful one, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Sunday said they lost a brave and well trained counter- insurgency officer in ASI Babu Ram.

“The operation lasted for the entire night. In the initial exchange one militant was killed and we lost a brave ASI Babu Ram. He was well-trained and an experienced counter-insurgency cop,” Singh told reporters at the wreath laying ceremony of Babu here.

Singh said the three slain militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba and one of them was a commander active for over a year. “He was involved in several militancy related crimes. Our forces have not only averted an incident, but also had a successful operation,” he said adding that it was a weapon snatching bid that was foiled by the alert troops, forcing the militants to leave behind their bike and take shelter in a nearby area known as Dhobi Mohalla, Pantha Chowk. “We brought the families of the three from the Pampore area who appealed to their children to surrender, but they refused and instead fired upon the forces. We gave them an opportunity even as we had lost a colleague,” the DGP said.

The police chief said that teams of SOG and CRPF acted swiftly and cordoned the area till senior officers of police and CRPF joined them to supervise the operation. “This was done despite the fact that we lost our brave cop in the operation,” he said and termed it a successful operation. The wreath laying ceremony was held at District Police Lines Srinagar where floral tributes were paid to the slain ASI.

R R Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt. Governor, led the officers and personnel in paying homage to Babu.  Besides DGP Dilbag Singh, ADGP CID R.R. Swain, ADGP Coordination SJM Gillani, ADGP Hqdrs/L&O A.G. Mir, IG CRPF(Ops) Rajesh Kumar Yadav, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, IG CRPF Adm. P. K. Panday, DIG CKR Sulaiman Choudhary, SSP Srinagar Dr. M. Haseeb Mughal other officers, colleagues of the ASI paid tributes and laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains.  The body was later handed over to his next of kin for last rites.