SOG ASI Killed in Sopore Attack

Militants Escape Security Dragnet

SOPORE: In first incident this year, an Assistant Sub Inspector of the counter-insurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) was killed and three personnel were injured in Sopore town on Tuesday. 

Police said that militants resorted to indiscriminate firing after police, assisted by military forces, cordoned off a residential house in Chanakhan, Sopore. In the initial attack an ASI of SOG was killed and three other personnel injured.

Giving details police sources said that SOG personnel after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in Chanakhan had left for the area in plain clothes onboard a private Sumo vehicle.

Prior to their departure SOG had alerted army’s 52 RR about the development.

Police claimed that a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant, Muzafar Molvi was present in the house of one Muhammad Saleem Dar. As the SOG personnel reached there, militant fired upon the party leaving 4 SOG personnel injured,” police sources said.

“As SOG men got off the vehicle taking up positions in anticipation of army arrival, militants attacked them with automatic weapons”, they said.  Unconfirmed reports said that militants decamped with the rifle of the deceased SOG ASI, Kafeel Ahmed (SPR-43). However, SP Sopore Abdul Qayoom said that he has no information about it. “All the injured policemen were in the hospital and details about the incidents have not been furnished yet,” he said.

A police official told CNS that before resorting to firing, the militants hurled a grenade on the SOG party in which 4 SOG personnel identified as constables, Irfan Ahmed from Pulwama (124-SPR), Manzoor Ahmed Ganaie from Panzala Kupwara (822-SPR), Zakir Ahmed Shiekh from Tahratpora, Handwara (821-SPR) and Assistant Sub-Inspector Kafeel Ahmed Mir son of Abdul Majeed resident of Keran (43-SPR) were injured. All the injured cops were shifted to B.B.Cant hospital in Badamibagh. Kafeel later on succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

Police sources said that number of militants present in the house of Muhammad Salim was two. Police sources identified the duo as Muzafar Molvi and Abu Hurrairah, both from Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Police sources said that the son of the owner of the house Muhammad Salim Dar had been arrested by police in November 2013 after huge quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered from his Chanakhan house. “Dar had been arrested under FIR number 104/2013 under section 7/25 of Arms act,” a police official said.

Police and Army personnel launched a massive search operation after the incident. All the entry and exit points leading towards Chanakhan were sealed and the identity cards of the people were thoroughly checked. The search operation was called off at around 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the daughter of Abdul Razaq Dar in whose house militants were allegedly hiding told CNS that her brother Mushtaq Ahmed was picked up by police soon after the incident. She refuted the allegations that any militant was present in their house. “We heard gun shots and all the gun-wielding persons were in plain clothes. It was not clear who among them was militant or policeman,” she said adding that the family members were busy in routine chorus when the incident took place.

SP Sopore said that at least one militant was spotted by policemen running for shelter soon after the attack.

Hizb claims responsibility

Contrary to police claim, militant out-fit Hizb-ul Mujahideen claimed the responsibility of the Sopore attack. 

In a telephonic statement to KNS, Baleeg-Ud-Din, Hizb operational spokesman said that the outfit carried out the attack and the militants have reached safely to their hide-out.    

Besides the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the police, soldiers of counter-insurgency Rashtriya Rifles and troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were engaged in the search operation.

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