Policeman, Civilian Shot Dead In Srinagar & Anantnag

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Srinagar- Unidentified militants on Wednesday shot dead a police officer and a civilian in twin attacks in a span of 30 minutes in this capital city and Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

45-year-old Rauf Ahmed Khan, a resident of Mirjanpora locality of Nawa Kadal was fired upon by militants outside his home in the city on Wednesday evening, a police official told Kashmir Observer. Khan, he said, sustained critical gunshot injuries in the militant attack and was removed to the nearby SMHS hospital for treatment.

“However, he succumbed to his injuries before the doctors could operate upon him,” the police officer said.

A property dealer by profession, Khan had received several gunshot injuries on the upper body, including chest.

“The civilian was brought dead to the hospital. He had sustained three gunshot injuries, including the one that had pierced his neck and damaged spinal cord,” Medical Superintendent SMHS, Dr Kanwaljeet Singh told Kashmir Observer.

“The doctors attending the civilian tried to revive him but he was already dead,” he added.

Immediately after the shootout, a posse of police and CRPF personnel reached the area and launched a massive search operation to nab the attackers. “The search operation continued for several hours, however no arrests were made.” the police officer added.

According to reports, Khan is survived by his mother Haleema, wife Shazia and a five year old daughter.

As per the police officer, a case has been registered into Khan’s killing.

“We are trying to get CCTV footage of the incident so that the perpetrators behind this attack are nabbed or neutralised. Case has been registered, investigation is in progress and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this crime,” he added.

Barely 30 minutes after Khan was shot dead in Srinagar, unknown militants attacked and critically injured a police officer in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Mohammed Ashraf was shot at and injured by militants in Bijbehara area of the district, a police officer said. Ashraf, he said, received critical gunshot injuries, including one on his chest in the surprise militant attack.

As per the police officer, the injured ASI was first shifted to Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Bijbehara from where he was referred to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital.

“Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries on the way to Srinagar hospital,” the police officer said.

Ashraf, he said, was currently posted at the Police Station Bijbehara,

Soon after the attack, a massive search operation was launched by a joint team of police, army and CRPF to nab the attackers. “It looks like the attackers while taking the cover of darkness have managed to escape,” he added.

Pertinently, this is the second attack on Police in less than a fortnight. On December13, three cops were killed and eleven other injured when militants opened indiscriminate firing on a bus carrying personnel of J&K Police in Zewan area of Srinagar.

Meanwhile, several mainstream leaders condemned the attack and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family.

Former Chief Minister and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah also condemned the attacks.

Allah marhoom ko magfirat farmaye Ameen. I unreservedly condemn these two attacks & send my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives today, he tweeted.

The People's Conference also strongly condemned the killings.

We strongly condemn the militant attack on ASI Ashraf and Rauf Ahmed in which both the policemen lost their lives. Heartfelt condolences & sympathies with their families (sic), the party wrote on Twitter.

Apni Party tweeted, Apni Party strongly condemns heinous attacks on ASI Mohd Ashraf in #Bijbehara area of South #Kashmir and civilian Rouf Ahmad in #Eidgah #Srinagar, in which both lost their lives. Party expresses deepest sympathies with the bereaved families.

The J&K unit of BJP also condemned the killing of the policeman, terming it barbaric . Party spokesman Altaf Thakur said it was an act of frustration and that militants are feeling frustrated and attacking unarmed policemen.

He extended sympathies to the bereaved family and urged the police brass to punish the militants involved in the act.

Killers Will Be Brought To Justice Soon: LG

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha meanwhile condemned the killing of a policeman and a civilian and pledged that the militants and their handlers responsible for these killings will be “brought to justice soon.''

“Deeply saddened by the barbaric and cowardly terrorist act in Srinagar and Anantnag. I strongly condemn this heinous attack on civilian Rouf Ahmad & JKP officer Mohd Ashraf. The terrorists and their handlers responsible for these killings will be brought to justice soon,” Sinha posted on his official Twitter handle.

“Such barbaric terror act will not succeed in undermining J&K's development journey. Deepest & heartfelt condolences to bereaved families,” he wrote in another Tweet.

Sinha also said that the government stands with the families & friends at this difficult time.

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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