Militants Kill BJP Leader’s Guard in Srinagar, Decamp With Weapon

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar: Suspected militants on Thursday carried out an audacious daylight attack on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader’s house in Nowgam area of the city here killing his security guard before fleeing from the scene with his service rifle.

Around 11:30 am Thursday, a group of armed militants appeared outside the residence of BJP leader Anwar Khan in Aribagh locality of Nowgam and opened fire upon the sentry as soon as he opened the gate, an official said.

In the attack, they said, the security guard Rameez Raja was critically injured, while the militants managed to make a quick exit from the spot after fleeing with the rifle of policeman, who lied on the ground in a pool of blood.

He further said that the injured cop was removed to the SMHS hospital here, where the doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

The official said Ahmad -- who is the BJP's district general secretary for Baramulla and incharge for Kupwara district -- was away in Jammu at the time of the attack.

Soon after the attack, a heavy posse of police and CRPF personnel cordoned off the area and launched a manhunt to nab the assailants. Senior police officials, including Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar also visited the area to assess the situation.

“Police has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this crime,” a police spokesperson said.

Pertinently, militants on Monday carried out an attack in Sopore town of Baramulla district killing a BJP councillor and an SPO and injuring another councillor, who died at the Srinagar’s SMHS hospital on Tuesday.

Today’s attack also comes amid Senior Superintendent of police (SSP) Srinagar Sandeep Chaudhary’s direction to the security guards of protected persons to stick to the standing operation procedures (SOPs) and remain alert round the clock

“SSP Srinagar emphasised that more CCTV cameras and centralised surveillance of such guards is being enhanced to ensure safety of protected persons. Men deployed on guards were briefed to stick to SOPs very strictly and remain alert round the clock,” a police spokesperson said Wednesday.

Veil And Voice Used In Attack: IGP

The militant attack on the home of a BJP leader in Nowgam area on Thursday that left his police guard dead was carried out by four Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, a senior police officer said, asserting the attackers would be killed soon.

Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said two of the four have been identified, and they are from Srinagar city.

Kumar said one of the four militants was wearing a 'Burqa' (veil) and imitated a woman's voice while asking the guard at the residence of the BJP leader Anwar Ahmad to open the main door.

"There was one sentry on the main door and two cops in the guard room. As is clear from the CCTV footage, one militant wearing a 'Burqa' knocked on the main door and asked, imitating a woman's voice, for opening it," the IGP told reporters on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of the slain cop -- Rameez Raja -- at the Police Control Room here.

Kumar said when the sentry opened the door, two other militants fired indiscriminately on him and the fourth one decamped with his rifle.

"The militants came and fired indiscriminately, resulting in the on-spot death of the jawan," he said.

The IGP said two militants out of the four have been identified.

"Initially, we thought the one wearing a 'Burqa' was a lady, but when we analysed the CCTV footage closely, we found that it was not a lady, but a male and a militant. Two out of the four have been identified and are from Srinagar city.

"They belong to the LeT outfit. One of them is Shahid Khurshid Dar. He is from Chanapora and is a categorized militant. The other is Obaid Shafi Dar. They both joined the LeT last year along with four others," he said.

"We will neutralise them soon after generating pinpoint intelligence," the IGP added.

He said security forces have been conducting several operations in the last three months, but "there has not been much success".

"We will increase the (anti-militancy) operations and strengthen the intelligence gathering and will soon neutralise them," Kumar said. (With PTI inputs)

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