A day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Hizbul Mujahideen militants attacked an Army convoy in an uptown area here killing 8 jawans and injuring 14 others. Monday’s attack, the second in three days, took place at the Hyderpora bypass on the Airport-Lal Chowk road.
A local news agency said it received a call from a person claiming to be the spokesperson of Hizbul Mujahideen. “Several squads have been formed and similar attacks will be carried out in the city in the future as well,” the agency quoted the militant as having said. The attack came two days after Hizb militants gunned down two policemen in the heart of Srinagar.
Sources said the ultras threw a grenade at a check post injuring a CRPF officer and a policeman. “One CRPF personnel has been injured in the militant firing near the Rambagh camp,” Inspector General Y S Yadav said.
PMO sources in Delhi said there was no change in the schedule of Manmohan, who, along with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, will arrive on a two-day visit to the Valley on Tuesday.
He is scheduled to inaugurate a railway tunnel between Banihal and Qazigund. He is also expected to lay the foundation stone of a hydro electric power project near Kishtwar district.
Sources had earlier suggested that the Prime Minister would discuss the partial revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Independent MLA Abdul Rasheed, who recently launched the Awami Etihaad Party, has threatened to greet Manmohan with black flags if he doesn’t bring the mortal remains of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru with him. And Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call for a complete shutdown on Tuesday has been backed by other separatist groups.
Ahead of the visits, check points have been erected at all entry and exit points.