Civilian, 7 CRPF men injured in fidayeen-type attack near Bijbehara
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Dec 7: One civilian and seven CRPF personnel were injured in a daredevil attack by unidentified militants on a paramilitary convoy on way from Srinagar to Jammu near Bijbehara in South Kashmir on Monday.
Eyewitnesses said that three unidentified militants came on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Semthan, between Sangham and Bijbehara, at 0950 hours and opened indiscriminate fire from AK-47 rifles on a CRPF convoy. They said that CRPF’s road observation patrol was on duty but it could neither stop the militants from coming on the road nor from escaping towards a hamlet. Without stopping for a moment, the targeted convoy proceeded towards Bijbehara.
Deputy Inspector General of Police in South Kashmir, Nitish Kumar, told STATE TIMES that three militants of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, wearing Pheran and hiding their AK-47 rifles, came on the road and carried out a fidayeen-type attack on the CRPF convoy. A number of buses were hit. In all, seven personnel on board two buses sustained injuries. They included a Sub Inspector. A civilian, namely Rayees Ahmad Dar of Wachi, also sustained injuries.
All the three militants escaped as the CRPF did not engage them in an encounter and preferred to move forward from the spot.
The injured CRPF men were identified as Sub Inspector Raja Ram, Sanjay Kumar, Om Prakkash, S Gopinath, Shoban Nayak, Gurdeep Singh and Devendra Singh.
DIG said that the injured were rushed to Srinagar and admitted to SMHS Hospital. “All of them are stable. One of them has a little serious injury in his foot”, DIG said.
In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the CRPF convoy was attacked by “fidayeen” guerrillas. He said he spoke to DG CRPF about the incident and was told that six to seven soldiers were injured in the strike.
Spokespersons of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Hizbul Mujahideen called newspaper offices and claimed separately over telephone that the militants of their organisations had carried out the attack. Hizb spokesman Burhan-u-din claimed that eight soldiers sustained critical injuries in the attack. LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Gaznavi claimed that a CRPF vehicle was “completely destroyed”. He claimed that four soldiers died in the attack while as 14 more sustained injuries. According to him, most of the targeted men had sustained critical injuries.
CRPF spokesman Ashish Kumar Jha said that there militants in army fatigues suddenly appeared from nearby fields at Sangham and fired volleys of bullets on the CRPF convoy. He asserted that it was a well-planned fidayeen attack but the alert CRPF men foiled it. According to him seven personnel and a civilian were injured.