Policeman Killed in Shootout With Militants in Srinagar

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Less than 24 hours after militants shot dead a civilian and injured a non-local street vendor in two separate attacks in south Kashmir, a policeman on covert operation on Tuesday was killed in a brief shootout with militants in Soura area of this capital city.

Selection grade constable Amir Hussain Lone of Hirri Bala in Kupwara was critically injured when a group of three militants moving in a car exchanged gunfire with a covert team of police in Zoonimar area of Soura on Tuesday afternoon, a senior police officer said. Lone, who received gunshot wounds in upper parts of body including neck, was removed to the nearby SK institute of medical sciences for treatment.

However, after battling with life for several hours, Lone breathed his last at the hospital.

“Srinagar police received information that 3 terrorists were roaming in a red colour car. A covert team of police were following them. A brief encounter took place in which a terrorist received a gunshot and one of our policeman also sustained critical injuries. He was taken to hospital where he attained martyrdom,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters at the wreath laying ceremony of the deceased cop.

He said it was a Lashkar-e-Taiba group travelling in the car.

“Basit, who took as commander after Mehran’s killing, and Rehan besides another militant were in the car. We are tracking this group and will neutralise them soon,” Kumar said.

The IGP also said that this group was responsible for the recent killings, including in Budgam.

When asked about the sudden spurt in militant attacks, Kumar said that the forces were also carrying out operations.

"So far this month, we have neutralised 11 hardcore terrorists, 12-13 of them have also been arrested. Our operations are on," he added.

Soon after the shootout, reports said, a huge contingent of Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel and paramilitary CRPF men carried out a series of search operations in Zoonimar and the adjoining areas. However, no arrests were made when the last reports came in.

In a statement issued here this evening, a police spokesperson said that the militants managed to escape from the spot after the shootout taking the advantage of huge rush of commuters.

“Police have registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law. Investigation is vigorously in progress,” he said.

Politicians React

Meanwhile, several mainstream leaders condemned the killing of policeman and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family.

"Deeply saddened by the dastardly killing of Amir Hussain of the JK Police. We are fast turning the dignity of human lives into a statistic. And that is very dangerous. My condolences to the family. May Allah give them strength to bear this loss," Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone said on Twitter.

The National Conference said, "Deeply saddened by the demise of 30-year-old SGCT Amir Hussain who lost his life in a shootout at Zoonimar, Soura (Srinagar). May Allah grant him a place in Jannat and give his loved ones enough strength to face the days ahead."

Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari said the cycle of violence was despicable and served no cause.

"Condemn the killing of a policeman in a brief shoot out in Srinagar today. My heart goes out to his family & loved ones. This cycle of violence is despicable and serves no cause. It only leaves behind inevitable loss and adds to our sufferings," he tweeted.

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