SRINAGAR: A woman and her 4-year-old son were shot dead in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir allegedly by a member of Village Defence Committee (VDC) – a body of civil volunteers formed by the government to fight militants in the villages, while a police officer and a cop were injured in a militant attack in the Valley on Thursday.
A police officer said a VDC member Mushtaq Ahmed fired towards a woman Shamima Akhter (35) and her four-year-old son Tawheed Ahmad in Samote village of Budhal tehsil in Rajouri after barging in her house this afternoon.
“Both sustained critical bullet injuries and were evacuated to a nearby hospital, where doctors declared them brought dead,” he said.
After killing the duo, the accused tried to escape from the area. “He, however, was caught by the locals after being overpowered and disarmed. He and his rifle were later handed over to police,” police sources said.
They said the accused person was running a barber shop in the area while woman’s husband has been working in Saudi Arabia for last couple of years.
This is the second such incident in Rajouri district within a week. Earlier, on December 19, a VDC member had allegedly shot dead opposition National Conference (NC) leader Ishtiyaq Ahmed in Potha village of Kalakote tehsil in Rajouri district.
VDCs were set up by the State government in 1995 to fight militants.
The opposition National Conference and separatist groups have been demanding disbanding of VDCs in the State. However, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh has defended these committees and ruled out their disbanding.
Meanwhile, militants of Hizbul Mujahideen attacked a police party at Goriwan market in Bijbehara town of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
“DySP Irshad Rather and police constable Tanver Ahmad sustained injuries in the militant firing. They were immediately rushed to Srinagar hospitals for treatment,” a police official said.
He said the injured police officer was later evacuated to army hospital in Badamibagh Cantonment in Srinagar.
Sources said the police officer had sustained three bullet injuries in the militant attack.
They said militants, who were two in number, managed to escape from the area after the gunfight.
Pro-Pakistan militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility of the attack.
Hizb’s operational spokesperson Burhan-u-Din told local news gathering agency in Srinagar that the attack on police party was carried out by its special squad.
“Both the cops including the officer were seriously injured in the attack,” he said and warned the policemen to desist from anti-movement activities.