Srinagar: A paramilitary soldier was killed while another was injured after suspected militants carried out an attack in Srinagar’s Maisuma locality. Four militant attacks took place since Sunday evening, targeting non-local labourers and a Kashmiri Hindu within a span of 24 hours.
Suspected militants attacked Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers on duty in Maisuma area of Lal Chowk Monday afternoon, following which two injured troopers were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. A senior official at the hospital, however, later confirmed that one of the troopers injured in the attack succumbed to his injuries while the condition of another is said to be “stable”.
The armed assailants fled from the scene of attack right after they hit the troopers on duty. The police and paramilitary started a cordon and search operation to nab the attackers. The Jammu and Kashmir police have sounded an alarm in and around the city to zero-in on the assailants.
Following the attack on the CRPF Jawans, around 8 pm, militants shot at a civilian at Choutigam area of Shopian in South Kashmir. According to Shopian Police, the victim was a Kashmiri Hindu identified as Bal Krishan, who was attacked near his house.
“In this terror incident, he had received critical gunshot injuries and was immediately evacuated to nearby hospital for the treatment of his injuries,” a police statement said.
Earlier, gunmen shot at and injured two non-local labourers in South Kashmir’s Lajurah village of Pulwama district on Monday afternoon. According to reports, suspected militants fired upon two non-locals labourers in the village, injuring them grievously. After the attack, the two labourers were shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The two victims were identified as Paileshwar Kumar and Joko Chowdary – both resident of Bihar. The Kumar and Chowdary received injuries in their right arm and legs, respectively. The attack on the two happened a day after a non-local driver and his conductor was shot at and injured in Bala Nowpora village of Litter area, which also falls in the Pulwama district.
According to a police official, suspected militants attacked the residents of Pathankote who were driving a poultry vehicle Sunday evening, after which both were shifted to a sub-district hospital in the area.
One of the injured, identified as Surinder, had received a bullet injury on the left side of his chest and was later referred to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital for further treatment. Another person injured in the incident was identified as Dheeraj Dutta, who sustained injuries in his leg.
The “hit and run” attacks aimed at specific targets including non-locals, PRI members and police and security forces have increased in Kashmir since March. Over a dozen have been killed including three Panchayat members, non-local workers, two cops and a territorial army soldier. The spike in attacks on what the police authorities have since referred to as “soft-targets” was witnessed in October last year. At that time, a spate of violence hit the region in which many local and non-local civilians were killed.
The Monday’s incident have been condemned by political parties in Kashmir including the National Conference (NC) who termed the attack as “cowardly.”
“Unreservedly condemn the cowardly attack in Maisuma, Srinagar earlier in the day, in which one CRPF personnel lost his life. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. Prayers for the swift recovery of the one injured,” the NC said in a statement.
People’s Conference (PC) leader Sajad Lone in a statement said that the violence in Kashmir is also aimed at economically crippling the Kashmiri economy.
“There is an economic component in the strategy of those indulging in violence. It is clear that a rich Kashmir, an economically prosperous Kashmir is antithetical to the strategy of these violent thugs. Let us hope we understand that,” Lone said.