Srinagar: A Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) policeman shot by a suspected militant at point-blank range in the heart of Srinagar’s Khanyar locality on Sunday afternoon died at Sher -i -Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS). A resident of Kulmuna area of Kupwara, North Kashmir, sub-inspector Arshad Ashraf Mir was on probation at the Khanyar Police station.
The CCTV footage shows the killer firing, at least, twice at Mir from behind and fleeing after he collapses. Mir was rushed to SKIMS but succumbed to his wounds.
Mir’s relatives and senior police and paramilitary forces officers and civil administration officials, led by J&K Police DGP Dilbag Singh, attended his wreath laying ceremony at the District Police Lines, Srinagar. Singh told the media that Mir was “deployed for the medical check-up of an accused to a hospital” and was attacked by a suspected militant while coming back.
The suspected militant involved in the attack has been identified and an operation has been launched, Singh said, adding: “The perpetrators would be brought to justice soon.”
The killing was severely condemned by the Union Territory government and leaders of mainstream political parties. “I strongly condemn [the] brutal killing of our braveheart Police Officer Arshad Ashraf Mir by terrorists. This is a handiwork of enemies of humanity & peace. His supreme sacrifice won’t go in vain, (sic) terrorists will be punished for the act. Heartfelt condolences to the martyr’s family,” lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha tweeted.
Similarly, former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah condemned the killing while the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference (JKPC) termed it as a part of “unrelenting cycle of violence”. “Since the eruption of militancy in Kashmir, we have lost everything: our rights, freedom and dignity. Thousands of innocent people have been killed and their families devastated,” JKPC spokesperson Adnan Mir said.
Mir’s killing has caused concern among police personnel. Nearly, two dozen security personnel have been killed in combat and militant attacks, including similar ambushes, this year so far.
In June, militants had killed an intelligence officer of the JKP Criminal Investigation Department while on his way to a mosque for evening prayers. The incident was caught on a CCTV camera as well. Around same time, another policeman who was part of the security provided to a judicial officer was killed off-duty outside his home in Srinagar.
According to official data, not more than five militants are active in Srinagar and its outskirts. But several offices in the security establishment had warned of an escalation in violence in the city.
Meanwhile, paramilitary forces claimed to have discovered six Chinese-made grenades from a sandbag placed near the arterial national highway outside Srinagar. “Since, there was lot of rush on the highway, the grenades were not demolished in-situ (on sight) and handed over to the police for disposal,” according to an official statement.