PSO’s Killing Aimed To Disrupt Polls: DGP

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh Monday said that the killing of a Personal Security Officer (PSO) of a PDP leader at Natipora, Srinagar, is an attempt to disrupt the ongoing election process and the prevailing peaceful environment across Kashmir.

He said that police have clues about the number of militants involved in the attack and area where they came from and that “attackers will soon be brought to book.”

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony of slain cop Manzoor Ahmed at District Police Lines (DPL) Srinagar, the DGP according to news agency KNO said that one must understand that J&K is going through an important exercise at present—the exercise at the grassroots level and there is a huge participation of people, which is commendable.

PSO Manzoor was guarding PDP senior leader Haji Pervez Ahmed at Natipora, Srinagar, and sustained bullet wounds after militants fired at him early this morning. He was shifted to Bone and Joints Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

“There have been elaborate security arrangements but we can’t put the movement of people to a complete halt while ensuring the grassroot level exercise. In between, there is a hidden movement of an odd number of anti-national elements as well,” he said.

The DGP said that in Poonch, a group of Lashkar-e-Taiba militants had infiltrated and were trying to reach Shopian but couldn’t due to snow accumulation in the area.

“Their motive too was to disrupt the ongoing election process. We offered them surrender multiple times with an aim that we could show the world that how our neighbour is fomenting trouble in Kashmir. But the militants refused to surrender and were killed in the encounter,” he said, adding that “we have enough evidence and incriminating material recovered from the slain militants by which we can prove what their motive was.”

About PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s tweet wherein she has alleged that J&K administration has left the opposition leaders in a vulnerable position by downgrading their security, the DGP termed the allegations as baseless.

“The PDP leader at whose residence SPO Manzoor was killed, was asked by the police to shift the location on the pretext that his residence was in a congested area and prone to militant attacks. He never paid heed to our suggestions,” the DGP said.

“He regularly violated security advisories. We reviewed his security and found there was a need of one PSO for him, but two were provided to him,” he added.

To a query about the motive of militants behind today’s attack, the J&K police chief said that the killing was to disrupt the ongoing election process and the peaceful environment prevailing in the Valley that was “managed by people and the security agencies including police after a lot of efforts.”

He said attacks like the one happened today can happen despite the security cover to the politicians.

“BJP youth leader Waseem Bari had 10 PSOs but still got killed. “In today’s attack, we have a fair amount of clues about the number of militants who carried out the attack and the area from where they came from. I am sure police will track them down soon and bring them to justice,” the DGP said

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