SRI NAGAR: The Ramzan ceasefire announced by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir is under stress after two pre-dawn militant attacks in volatile south Kashmir on Tuesday left two policemen dead and six security men injured.
A police officer said militants fired from automatic weapons at a police post in a court complex in Pulwama district at around 3.30 am. Three policemen sustained critical bullet injuries in the attack and were rushed to a nearby hospital.
“Two policemen identified as Ghulam Rasool Lone, resident of Gagal village in Kupwara, and Ghulam Hassan Chopan, resident of Wohlitra village in Baramulla, succumbed to injuries while another injured policeman, Manzoor Ahmad, was shifted to a Srinagar hospital for specialised treatment,” the officer said.
Sources said the militants also snatched two rifles from the policemen before fleeing.
Lone is survived by wife and three minor children — sons Azhar Rasool and Basit Rasool and daughter Misbah Rasool —while Chopan is survived by aged parents, wife and three children.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of the slain policemen at their native places in north Kashmir. Emotional scenes were witnessed while the bodies were taken for funeral.
Meanwhile, militants lobbed a grenade towards a CRPF patrol party at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag district early Tuesday morning. The grenade exploded, injuring five CRPF men who were hospitalised.
Both the attacks took place as Muslims across Kashmir were busy observing Shab-e-Qadr, special night-long prayers held in the holy month of Ramzan.
The attacks have come at a time when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh would be reviewing the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir to take a call on whether to extend the Ramzan truce announced on May 16.
A senior police officer said some elements inimical to peace were trying to derail the peace process. The police would review the security situation and take steps to upgrade security in vulnerable areas, he added.
National Conference leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah condemned the killing of the policemen. “With the militant organisations doing their best to make sure the ceasefire is a failure, they will only have themselves to blame if security forces come back at them even harder when the ceasefire ends,” he tweeted. Noting that the attack took place on the night of Shab-e-Qadr, he said, “The killers of these policemen deserve nothing but the eternal flames of hell and that is where they are destined to find themselves.”
Lt. Gen. A K Bhatt, General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said the decision on extending the truce had to be taken by the government. “The Army is ready to implement any such decision.” The GoC said the people of Kashmir had responded well to the Ramzan ceasefire.