SRINAGAR: A policeman and a physically challenged civilian were killed in a militant attack on a police post near a Sufi shrine in Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday while there has been no let up in Pakistani troops shelling and firing in border district of Poonch in the State.
A police officer said militants opened indiscriminate fire on a security post outside Sufi shrine of Hazrat Shiekh Baba Ali Raina (RA) at Tujjar Sharif, Sopore in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district this morning.
“A policeman guarding the post and a physically challenged civilian sustained critical injuries in the militant attack. The militants decamped with INSAS rifle of the injured policemen before fleeing from the spot,” he said.
He said the injured cop identified as Constable Fayaz Ahmad and civilian Abdul Rahim were rushed to a nearby hospital, where both succumbed to injuries.
The deceased cop is survived by mother, brother, wife and four children.
Immediately after the attack, police and paramilitary personnel laid siege around the area to nab the militants responsible for the attack. However, no arrests were reported.
A police officer said they suspect the involvement of Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) chief and former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Qayoom Najar in the attack.
“We have launched investigations,” he said adding they are trying to probe whether Najar, whose LeI was responsible for attacks on mobile vendors and installations in Sopore and other parts of North Kashmir in May-June this year, is behind the attack,” he said.
Today's attack near a shrine took place five days after a grenade blast near a mosque in South Kashmir’s Shopian district left 10 worshippers injured.
Meanwhile, there has been no let up in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along Line of Control and International Border (IB) in border district of Poonch.
Defence spokesman based in Jammu Lt Col Manish Manish Mehta told Express that Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing and heavy shelling in the forward areas of BG sector of Poonch for almost five hours.
“Pakistan troops first used small arms and then shelled civilian areas with 120mm, 82 mm and 60 mm mortar shells,” he said adding no loss of life or damage was caused in the Pakistani firing
Mehta said Pakistan army again resorted to unprovoked firing in forward areas along the LoC in Poonch sector.
“The firing started at 1245 am and was going on intermittently when last reports came in,” he said.
BSF sources said Pakistani troops also fired on BSF posts and civilian areas along International Border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district.
“They fired from small weapons and resorted to shelling of 82 mm shells on five Border Out Posts (BoPs) along the IB in Arnia and R S Pura sectors,” they said adding the Pakistani firing and shelling continued tills early this morning.
Officials said a civilian identified as 38-year-old Subhash Chander sustained a bullet injury in Pakistani firing at Sai Khurdin in Arnia sector. He was referred to a local hospital, where from he was refeffered to Jammu hospital for specialized treatment.
“Subhash was sitting in the premises of his uncle’s house when a bullet fired by Pak troops hit him on left leg,” they said.
The border and LoC residents have demanded construction of underground bunkers in the areas close to frontiers.
They have urged the administration to shift them permanently from villages close to firing range if they can’t be provided underground bunkers.