SRI NAGAR: In yet another weapon snatching incident in Jammu and Kashmir, militants snatched at least four rifles from policemen guarding the residence of senior PDP leader and MoS for Hajj and Auqaf, Farooq Andrabi, by attacking them late on Sunday night. Two policemen were injured in the militant attack.
According to the J&K Home Department, at least 62 rifles, six pistols and 182 magazines were looted by militants and unruly mobs from security personnel in Kashmir last year.
Regarding the latest incident, a police officer said militants fired from towards a police post at the ancestral house of Andrabi at Shishtergam village of Dooru in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. He said there was heavy firing on the policemen and they sustained bullet injuries in the attack. Before fleeing from the spot, the militants decamped with 4 SLR rifles and other ammunition from the police post.
The injured policemen were referred to an Army hospital in Srinagar, where the condition of one of them is critical.
Immediately after the attack, police, paramilitary CRPF and Army personnel launched a massive combing and search operation to nab the militants. However, no arrests have been made.
The Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit has claimed responsibility for the weapon snatching. Hizbul operational spokesperson Burhan-ud-din said militants of the outfit attacked the police post at the minister’s residence and decamped with four rifles. He said after carrying out the attack, the militants reached their hideouts.
Last year, the militants had attacked the residences of two PDP leaders and snatched weapons from their security guards.
The residences of PDP Rajya Sabha MP Nazir Ahmad Laway at Chawalgam in Kulgam district and PDP leader Sheikh Javed Ahmad at Boni Dialgam in Anantnag district were attacked on August 31 and September 18 last year respectively.
At both places, militants snatched four rifles each from the policemen.
Sixteen incidents of weapon snatching and looting took place in the Valley between January 1 and December 31 last year, reveals the data.
Of the 16 weapon snatching incidents, 13 took place in four south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian while two incidents took place in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and a solitary incident took place in Srinagar.
Of the 62 weapons snatched, 19 were AK-rifles, 22 SLRs, 18 Insas rifles, a carbine, .303 rifle and Pika gun, the State Home Department has revealed.
Meanwhile, the police on Monday claimed to have busted a module of the Hizbul Mujahideen by arresting seven suspected militants in Kashmir who were allegedly tasked to disrupt the upcoming Lok Sabha bypolls due in April. The arrests were made in Kulgam district, 70 km from here.
(With inputs from agencies)