Srinagar: Two policemen including an Assistant Sub-Inspector were killed and 12 policemen injured after militants attacked a police bus carrying personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police in Zewan Pantha Chowk in Srinagar outskirts on Monday evening.
The attack took place at Aripora Zewan at around 6 pm when the bus was returning with deployment from Srinagar city. Police said that one among the injured is critical and a hunt to crackdown the militants is underway in the area.
The incident took place just a few hours after police said that they shot dead two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in a brief shootout in Rangreth area of Srinagar. “Terrorists fired upon a police vehicle near Zewan in Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. 14 personnel injured in the attack. All the injured personnel evacuated to hospital. Area cordoned off. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice,” Kashmir Zone Police said in a Tweet soon after the attack. The injured police personnel were evacuated to Army’s BB Cant Hospital, however two among them succumbed to their grievous injuries on way to health facility. “SrinagarTerrorAttack: Among the injured police personnel, 1 ASI and a Selection Grade Constable succumbed to their injuries & attained martyrdom. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice,” Police said in another tweet.
The slain policemen were identified by police as ASI Ghulam Hassan a resident of Bathrand area of Ramban and Senior Grade Constable Shafique Ali of Mamankoti area of Reasi. “12 injured are being treated and one among them is critical,” said IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar. The other injured were identified by police as Sajad Ahmad, Rameez Ahmad, Bishamber Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Vikas Sharma, Abdul Majeed, Mudassir Ahmad, Ravi Kanth, Showkat Ali, Arshid Ahmad, Satveer Sharma, Liaqat Ali and Aadil Ali. They all are constables of 9th Battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police.
Police said that militants alighted on the Aripora Zeewan road and opened indiscriminate fire on a bus carrying the police personnel. The bus was attacked in the highly secure area that houses several camps of various security forces. They said militants have opened the fire on bus from front side. “ Terrorists opened indiscriminate fire and did not give chance to retaliate,” a senior police officer. The officer said police, Army and paramilitary forces have cordoned off the area. “ Intense search operation is underway,” police said.
The attack comes three days after two policemen were shot dead in a hit and run militant attack in Bandipora district of north Kashmir. The incident had taken place place in Bandipora's Gulshan Chowk on December 10.
Today’s attack on bus is the second major militant attack in Kashmir after the recent spate of targeted attacks on migrant workers and civilians. Police had said all the militants behind the target killings have been killed in a series of encounters in the last two months. Earlier in first week of September 2017, militants had opened fire on a police bus in the Pantha Chowk area here, killing a policeman and injuring three others. The bus was carrying personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police from Bemina to Zewan.
A statement issued by the Police about the Zewan attack said: “Today at about 1800hrs, terrorists fired indiscriminately upon a police vehicle near Zewan Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. Senior police officers along with reinforcement reached at the terror crime spot,” police said.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that three terrorists had fired indiscriminately upon a police vehicle carrying police personnel of 9th Battalion near Zewan Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. The said police party were coming back to their campus after finishing their duties. Although the fire was retaliated however taking advantage of darkness the terrorists managed to escape from the spot. In this terror incident 14 police personnel were injured and were shifted to hospital for treatment. Among the injured personnel, ASI Ghulam Hassan & SgCT Safique Ali succumbed to their injuries and attained martyrdom, whereas the condition of other injured personnel is stated to be stable.” police said in the statement. “IGP Kashmir on behalf of Police Parivaar has paid rich tributes to these martyrs, who laid down their lives in the line of duty. He further said that the credible sources revealed that the attack was carried by Kashmir Tigers, an offshoot of JeM. In the retaliatory firing, one of the terrorists got injured and the group involved in this gruesome terrorist attack will be soon brought to justice.”
“Police has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law and officers continue to work to establish the circumstances which lead to this terror crime,” police said. “Area has been cordoned off and search in the area is going on.“