‘Narrative of Normalcy in Kashmir Exposed After Zewan Planned Attack’
“We are tracking them and very soon we will neutralize the group.”
SRINAGAR — Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, while offering condolences to the families of three policemen killed in a militant attack on Monday evening at Zewan in city outskirts, said Government of India’s false narrative of normalcy in Kashmir stands exposed yet there has been no course correction.
Militants, late Monday evening, carried out a major attack on armed policemen in high-security, Zewan area on the outskirts of Srinagar city, killing three policemen and injuring a dozen others.
The militants, police officials said, attacked a police bus carrying the policemen to Police Training Centre Zewan after performing their duties for the day. Initially, two policemen died while others suffered injuries. However, on Tuesday morning, a police official said that another injured has succumbed to his injuries. The three slain policemen have been identified as Assistant Sub Inspector Ghulam Hassan, a resident of Bharthand Ramban, Safique Ali (Sgct), a resident of Mamakoti Mahore in Reasi district and Constable Rameez Ahmad son of Mohammad Amin, a resident of Yachama Ganderbal.
This is the second major militant attack in the valley after the recent spate of targeted attacks on non-local workers and members of the minority communities in Kashmir. All the militants behind the target killings have been killed in a series of military operations in the last two months, the police has said. The Zewan attack comes days after two policemen were killed in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Mufti said she was terribly sad to hear about the attack in Srinagar in which the policemen were killed.
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Omar Abdullah, the Vice President of the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, also expressed grief over the incident. “I unequivocally condemn this attack while at the same time send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased & prayers for the injured,” he tweeted.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, also expressed condolences to the families of those who were killed in the attack and sought details. “PM @narendramodi has sought details on the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. He has also expressed condolences to the families of those security personnel who have been martyred in the attack,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony, the Inspector General of Police Kashmir said that militants wanted to carry a weapon snatching by attacking the armed forces’ bus with 25 personnel on board. “The bus was attacked three kilometers prior to camp in the darkness,” he said. “Three militants, two of them foreigners and one local, fired indiscriminately at the bus in which 14 policemen suffered injured. Three of them succumbed later,” he said.
The top police officer said that police personnel retaliated. “One militant got injured and blood spots were found in the area. The militants succeeded in escaping towards Khrew and Tral,” he said, adding, “We are tracking them, and very soon we will neutralize the group.”
Asserting that the aim of the attack was to carry out a weapon snatching, the IGP said that the policemen effectively retaliated and as such there was not even a single weapon snatched.
The IGP said that it was a “planned attack”. Questioned on the intelligence inputs about the attack, the IGP said when the bus was attacked, army deployments had withdrawn. “We are taking preventive measures.”
Late last night, the police in a statement said that the attack was carried out by three militants of “Kashmir Tigers” which it said is an “offshoot” of Jaish-e-Mohammad.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed that three (militants) had fired indiscriminately upon a police vehicle carrying police personnel of 9th Battalion near Zewan Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. The police party was coming back to their campus after finishing their duties.”
The statement said: “Credible sources revealed that the attack was carried by Kashmir Tigers, an offshoot of JeM. In the retaliatory firing, one of the militants got injured and the group involved in this attack will be soon brought to justice,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone also condemned the attack. “Yet again a cowardly and a dastardly attack. Strongly condemn the attack. My heart goes out for the families. My prayers. May the killers rot in hell,” he tweeted.
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