Firing Outside Tujjar Sharif Shrine, 2 Killed

Cop manning shrine, civilian on wheelchair killed, assailants decamp with cops rifle

SOPORE: A policeman, guarding a Sufi shrine, and a civilian were killed after suspected militants attacked a police post at Tujjar Sharief near here on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses said that two persons on a motorbike arrived at the gates of the shrine of Sheikh Baba Ali and fired upon a police guard, posted there at a point blank range. Suspected militants fired two to three bullets, enough to spark panic in the area.

The shrine and an adjacent mosque is guarded by police personnel from 13th Battalion Indian Reserve Police. Sources said that during the time of attack, the policemen guarding the shrine were taking lunch inside their quarter and a lone constable present on the gate received a bullet in his abdomen. One of the bullets hit a wheelchair bound civilian present in the shrine premises. He also collapsed on the spot. The assailants also decamped with the service rifle (INSAS) of the deceased cop,” reports said.

The physically challenged person, identified as Abdul Rahim Lone, hailing from the same area was a frequent visitor to the shrine, residents said.

However according to the Deputy Inspector General Police, North Kashmir, Gareeb Das both were injured and police rushed them to hospital. “The constable Fayaz Ahmed Bhat died on the way while the civilian breathed his lost in the hospital, he said. 

We had deployed a full strength of force to guard the shrine and are trying to ascertain why the post was attacked and who were the assailants,” Das said adding that the militants, two in number, before fleeing from the spot also managed to snatch the INSAS service rifle of the deceased policeman.

Block Medical Officer Sopore Dr Masood while confirming the death of two said that cop was brought dead in the hospital while the physically challenged civilian succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

Fayaz Ahmed Bhat is a resident of Wadoora Sopore and the Abdul Rahim Lone from Tujjar Sharif.

Reports said that soon after the attack, top police officials, Army and SOG party reached the spot and a massive search operation was launched. “Civilians have been telling us that assailants arrived on a motorbike. We are investigating the matter and trying to ascertain the facts,” DIG North Kashmir said and added that it will be premature to say which group is involved in this attack.

The slain cop is survived by his mother, a brother, widow and four little children. Hundreds of people participated in his funeral prayers. Bhat was posted at the shrine since 2013. “His mother is scheduled to leave for Hajj pilgrimage on coming Saturday (August 22) and we are not sure now whether she will proceed or not,” his relatives said. 

—–With inputs from CNS  

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