Srinagar: Suspected militants shot dead a policeman and injured his 9-year-old daughter in Srinagar's Soura area on Tuesday while they were leaving their home for the girl's tuition classes, officials said.
The police identified the cop as Sg Ct Saifullah Qadri, a resident of Malik Saab locality of Soura (Anchar). His daughter Safa Qadri, who was also injured in the attack, was shifted to a local hospital and is believed to be stable.
“The injured police personnel succumbed to his injuries and attained martyrdom. We pay our rich tributes to the martyr and standby the family at this critical juncture,” the Kashmir Zone Police tweeted while confirming Qadri’s death.
The Inspector-General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar later said that militants crossed all the “limits of barbarity” by targeting Qadri's daughter, which left her injured. On the sidelines of the cop’s wreath-laying ceremony, Kumar said that the militants are targeting unarmed jawans of the army, police and CRPF while they are on leave.
"We have been giving them a befitting reply and will continue doing so," IGP said, adding the whole Kashmir society should come forward and condemn such attacks.
Qadri's killing was widely condemned by locals, political parties and officials, terming the killing as yet another incident that raises concern regarding the security and safety of the people in the region.
“I strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Soura, Srinagar. I assure the people that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished. I salute the martyr Policeman Sg Ct Saifullah Qadri. His service to the nation and supreme sacrifice will always be remembered. My thoughts are with the bereaved family. I pray for the speedy recovery of his daughter,” the office of the Lt Governor tweeted.
The killing of Qadri comes when members of the Kashmir Pandits community are demanding relocation outside the region, which they say is unsafe. Pandits have been protesting since one of the members Rahul Bhat, a 35-year-old revenue clerk, was killed by gunmen at his office in Budgam more than two weeks ago.
Over a dozen civilians have been killed in the last five months, including cops, panchayat members, members of the minority community and non-locals. The situation many claims has worsened in Kashmir, with Srinagar emerging as one of the most volatile spots since last October despite heightened counter-insurgency and military presence.
The J&K Congress party expressed concern over such targeted attacks în Kashmir valley în the recent past, which, they said, have caused loss of precious lives besides causing scare amongst all the nationalist forces, especially minorities and others.
“The government must check such attacks and ensure the safety and security of innocent citizens in Kashmir,” a party spokesperson said.
The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah condemned the Soura killing of a policeman, which he said was a vile attack.
"I unequivocally condemn the dastardly killing. Yet another family will have to live with lifelong pain and agony. My heartfelt condolences and sympathies are with the bereaved family. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured girl,” Dr Farooq said in a statement.