Cop killed, another cop, civilian injured in militant attack on minority guard in Shopian
14-year-old critically injured in pellet gun firing in Srinagar as Police foil separatists’ call for mass march to UNMOGIP; over 50 clashes in Valley
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Oct 7: One Police constable got killed and another, besides a Kashmiri Pandit civilian, sustained injuries when suspected militants clashed with the guards protecting some families of the minority community in Shopian district of South Kashmir on Friday.
Director General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar told STATE TIMES that some militants attacked the Police guard at Jamnagri (Reshinagri) on periphery of Shopian town, 55 Kms from here, at 8.45 pm. The Police guards resisted the militants’ attempt to loot their weapons. The militants opened fire, causing injuries to two constables and one member of the protected Pandit families. While as the critically injured constable Nazir Ahmad of Amnoo Shopian died on way to the hospital, constable Zahoor Ahmad and Pandit Puran Krishen Kaul were rushed to Srinagar and admitted to Army’s 92 Base Hospital for treatment.
Official sources said that constable Zahoor had a gunshot injury in his leg while as the civilian, Puran Krishen, had been hit in his thigh. Both were reportedly stable and responding to treatment.
Sources said that the group of three militants, two armed with AK-47 rifles and one holding a pistol, appeared at Jamnagri where three guards of District Police Shopian are posted for protection of the three resident Pandit families. It appeared that the militants’ action was limited to looting of the weapons and they had not a plan of attacking the Pandits. Since the guards resisted, the militants opened fire killing a guard and leaving another injured. Pandit Puran Kishore, who was at the same spot, was also injured in the shootout.
Sources said that the third guard opened fire from his service weapon and saved the life of the Pandit family members and one of the guards besides all three weapons including two SLRs and one AK-47 rifle. The militants escaped. It was not immediately clear if any of them had got injured during exchange of fire.
Militants have lately looted and snatched away weapons from the Police guards at several places, including some minority guards, though none of the security personnel or any member of the protected families had been harmed. According to reports, some of the Police guards have handed over their weapons to the militants without attempting any resistance. Over a hundred Police weapons, including SLRs and AK-47s, have been looted from PSOs of protected persons, Police Stations and minority guards in South Kashmir in the last three months of the unceasing turbulence.
Meanwhile, Police and paramilitary forces on Friday foiled the separatist leaders’ attempt to organise a mass march from different areas of Kashmir valley to UNMOGIP headquarters at Sonwar with imposition of restrictions and curfew in downtown Srinagar. Friday congregational prayers were not permitted in Jamia Masjid in Srinagar besides some other mosques.
Informed official sources told STATE TIMES that violent clashes took place between unruly crowds and Police/CRPF at more than 60 places all over the Valley. More than 50 demonstrators were reportedly injured in these clashes that ensued after conclusion of the congregational prayers at the community mosques. Sources said that 56 persons were arrested for organising clashes and indulging in stone pelting on Police and security forces on Friday.
Sources said that a 14-year-old boy, namely Junaid, was critically injured when Police and CRPF used pump action guns to disperse a stone pelting crowd in Eidgah area of downtown Srinagar. He was admitted to SKIMS where doctors said that chances of his recovery were bleak.