SRI NAGAR: 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, even as there was no let-up in the shelling and firing by Pakistani troops in border district of Poonch.
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A police official said militants opened indiscriminate fire on a security post outside the Sufi shrine of Hazrat Shiekh Baba Ali Raina (RA) at Tujjar Sharif in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Tuesday morning. “A policeman guarding the post and a physically challenged civilian sustained grievous injuries in the militant attack. The militants decamped with the INSAS rifle of the injured policeman,” 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 to the area in a bid to nab the militants. However, no arrests were reported.
A police officer said that they suspect the involvement of Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) chief and former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Qayoom Najar in the attack. “We have launched an investigation,” 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, is indeed behind the attack,” he said.
Tuesday’s attack near a shrine took place five days after a grenade blast near a mosque in South Kashmir’s Shopian district that left 10 worshippers injured.
Meanwhile, there has been no let up in ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops along the LoC and International Border in Poonch.
Defence spokesman based in Jammu, Lt Col Manish Mehta told Express that Pakistani Army resorted to unprovoked firing and heavy shelling in the forward areas of BG sector of Poonch for almost five hours. “Pakistani troops first used small arms and then shelled civilian areas with 120 mm, 82 mm and 60 mm mortar shells,” he said, adding that there has been no loss of life or damage to property resulting from the firing.
Mehta said Pakistani Army again resorted to unprovoked firing in forward areas along the LoC in Poonch sector. “The firing started at 12.45 am and was going on intermittently when reports last came in,” he said.
BSF sources said Pakistani troops also fired at BSF posts and civilian areas along the 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 (BoP) along the IB in Arnia and R S Pura sectors,” they said, adding, the Pakistani firing and shelling continued till the early hours of Tuesday.
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, from where he was referred to Jammu hospital for specialised treatment. “Subhash was sitting in the premises of his uncle’s house when a bullet fired by Pak troops hit him on the left leg,” they said.