Militants on Friday vainly tried to snatch the rifle of a policeman escorting former PDP minister Abdul Gafar Sofi near his Wanpoh residence in Anantang district.
Sofi, who has represented Home Shalibugh constituency twice, was coming out of the Jamia Masjid after offering Friday prayers when some gunmen started approaching towards him apparently in a bid to snatch the rifle from his Personal Security Officer.
"The PSO, however, after spotting the gunmen fired warning shots forcing them to flee," said a source. The forces later cordoned off entire Wanpoh area falling under police jurisdiction Kulgam and launched searched operations.
This was the second rifle snatching attempt within 16 hours in southern Kashmir. On Thursday night, militants forced their entry into the guard room of ancestral house of advocate Jehangir Ahmad Ganai in Mattan in an attempt to snatch rifles. However, after the militants found them unarmed, they were beaten up. The guard house was also ransacked. "It looks they were looking for weapons," Ganaie told media persons.
A source said the policeman guarding the house had deposited their weapons only few days back in police station Mattan. There has been a sudden surge in weapon snatching incidents in the Valley. Last week, militants decamped with two rifles from cops guarding a political leader affiliated with Jammu and Kashmir Tehreek Bachao Party in Daburana village. Four rifles were snatched from a guard post in Hyderpora, a rifle from a guard at the Kashmir University gate and three rifles from a guard room in a hotel in Dalgate area of Srinagar.
A special police officer guarding the house of political activist associated with BJP in northern Kashmir decamped with a service rifle too, while another bid was foiled by cops at Wanpoh grid station in Anantang.