Single Group Carrying Out Attacks in Sopore: Police

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SRINAGAR: In an apparent hint towards newly floated Lashkar-e-Islam militant outfit, police on Saturday said that all the attacks, since last month, in Sopore and its adjoining areas have been carried out by a single group.

A top police official said that they have got “various clues” vis-à-vis attacks on telecommunication installations, employees and activists of Hurriyat Conference headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

“It is a same group which carried out earlier attacks,” the official said, adding: “We have got various clues. All these incidents are inter-linked.”

The fresh phase of killings of Hurriyat activists started soon after Lashkar-e-Islam asked Geelani to probe his own ranks vis-à-vis militant assassinations. Before Lashkar-e-Islam’s statement, Geelani had stated that the outfit has been floated by Indian secret agencies to “defame freedom movement” and had claimed to have “evidence”. United Jihad Council, an amalgam of militant outfits operating in Kashmir, also termed the Lashkar-e-Islam “creation of Indian agencies”. But, the new militant outfit urged the UJC to “probe properly”.

The official said that they have already detained several suspects in connection with the killing of Altaf-ur-Rehman, a Hurriyat activist shot dead on Monday. “We are questioning them but no one has been formally arrested so far,” he said.

He said the police are working to neutralize the group and expressed hope that the killing spree would soon end. (GNS)

Family Blames Police

Sopore:  The family members of Sopore resident, Khurshid Ahmed Bhat, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Bomai Sopore Friday night held Indian agencies responsible for the killing. 

The father of the slain youth terming it as ‘target killing’ said that he has no expectations from the present government.

“Yesterday, Sheikh Altaf became the prey of target killing, today it was my son and tomorrow it will be some other person. I appeal people and media to expose these killers. My son was not killed by militants but it was the handiwork of some Indian agencies,” Ghulam Nabi Bhat said according to CNS.

Tariq Ahmed Bhat, brother of the slain youth, said that due to police movement in the area, his brother shut down his shop before the routine time. “As my brother crossed a narrow street, unidentified gunmen fired four bullets upon him. One bullet hit his head. Within five minutes of the incident, three policemen appeared on the scene. One policeman was shivering and he tried to take my bleeding brother to hospital. He requested me to take care of his service rifle which I refused. All the three policemen fled from the spot. Later on a police party arrived quickly who took my brother to Sopore hospital where Khurshid succumbed to his injuries,” he said. Tariq said that he was shocked how his brother got killed amid heavy police patrolling.

He said that the same group might be involved in the killing of his brother who murdered Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist Sheikh Altaf on Tuesday. “My slain brother was the president of local Beopar Mandal and was running a general store. Police had arrested him several times on charges of stone-pelting. He was an ardent supporter of Kashmir freedom struggle and it is hard to subscribe the police theory that militants killed him,” Tariq said.

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