Militants shot dead four policemen in a deadly attack at Zainpora area of Shopian district on Tuesday afternoon. They also walked away with four rifles of the slain cops.
A police official said that at around 2 pm, militants in Zainpora area forced their entry into a guard room housing policemen meant for the security of the minority Pandit community, and fired at the policemen present there.
While three policemen were killed on the spot, the fourth one died of his injuries en route to hospital.
He identified the killed policemen as Anees Ahmad Mir, a resident of Souch, Kulgam; Mehraj-u-din, resident of Bandipora; Hamidullah, resident of Anantnag and Abdul Majeed, a resident of Ganderbal.
The militants, according to the official, also fled away with four service rifles of the killed cops.
The attack came at a time when the area was scheduled to go to polls during the last leg of panchayat elections. The elections, however, were not held as all the contenders were elected unopposed.
This is the second deadliest attack on police in the past five past months in the district.
On August 29, militants killed four policemen who were part of the security detail of a senior police officer in Arhama village on the outskirts of Shopian town.
Muhammad Hassan, a spokesperson for militant outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad, claimed responsibility for the attack, news agency GNS said.
Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over the loss of lives of policemen who were killed at Zainapora in Shopian.
In a message, Governor has prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls and conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved families.
Floral tributes paid to deceased cops
A police spokesman said civil and police officers, including Munir Ahmed Khan, ADGP (security and law and order), IGP Kashmir SP Pani, DIG south Kashmir Amit Kumar, laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains of the policemen and “paid rich tributes to the martyrs who made supreme sacrifice in the line of duty”.The SP and DC Shopian, he said, also paid floral tributes to the policemen.
Mehbooba, Omar condemn killings
Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti condemned the killing of the policemen and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families. A PDP spokesman said in a statement that “she said violence of last three decades or more has taken a heavy toll on the people of the state in terms of death and destruction, tearing apart of the social fabric, inflicting massive economic, academic and other losses besides the irreparable loss of human lives”.
National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also condemned the killings, saying, “We have lost three of our brave cops while delivering their duties. I pay my heartfelt tributes to the three policemen and pray for the speedy recovery of those who are injured.”
Killings another ‘mindless act’ of violence: Lone
Peoples Conference (PC) chairman Sajad Lone wrote on Twitter: “The attack in Shopian on police personnel is yet another mindless act of violence. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the policemen who laid down their lives in the line of duty.”
President Democratic Party Nationalist Ghulam Hassan Mir, a statement issued by his party said, has “shown concern on the killing of cop”. He said the killing is unfortunate.
Chairman of Peoples Democratic Front Hakeem Yaseen expressed concern over the killing of policemen and conveyed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families. He termed the killings as most unfortunate.