Fidayeen attack on Police colony
21 September 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: In a suicide attack, militants today targetted Police Housing Colony in Bemina area of the capital city here, killing a sentry and causing injuries to at least seven Police personnel. DIG Srinagar-Budgam, Farooq Ahmed, who sustained splinter injuries in the grenade blast, had a narrow escape. One or two militants occupied the residential quarters of the non-gazetted Police officials and engaged security forces in a fierce gunbattle which was going on at midnight. In other militancy-related incidents, Minister of State for Tourism, Ms Sakeena Itoo, escaped another attempt on her life, though a CRPF Inspector and a girl student got killed and 10 others sustained injuries. In all 15 persons, including three mainstream political activists, have died in different incidents of violence and two more children have died in reckless driving of a counter-insurgent Ikhwani. Informed sources told EXCELSIOR that two militants, travelling in a three-wheeler, reached the main entrance of the Police Housing Colony at Bemina at 1900 hours this evening. They hurled a hand grenade on the Police guards and resorted to indiscriminate gunfire, while rushing towards the residential quarters of the non-gazetted staff. Two sentries of JKAP 13 Bn sustained critical injuries and they were rushed to hospital. After a while, one Constable Ghulam Mohammad succumbed to injuries. As senior Police officers rushed to the spot and began a search of the walled Housing Colony, militants lobbed a hand grenade which exploded yards away from DIG Srinagar-Budgam Farooq Ahmed. He and his PSO were among seven Police officials who sustained multiple splinter injuries. They too were rushed to hospital. Late tonight, sources said that the DIG was stable and he had sustained only minor injuries. Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police was immediately put on the job of tracing and eliminating the two militants who had occupied the residential quarters and were firing in all directions. Almost all the senior Police and paramilitary officials were present on the spot when this report was filed at midnight. Minister attacked Earlier today, National Conference (NC) candidate from Noorabad and MoS Tourism, Ms Sakeena Itoo, was once again targetted by militants at Mirhama (Kulgam) when she was on way to her home in Damhal Hanjipora, in south Kashmir. Militants in ambush targetted her motorcade with a powerful IED blast. It missed the real target and hit an escort vehicle, causing injuries to six CRPF personnel. Later, one of them, namely Inspector Kishen Singh of CRPF 9th Bn, succumbed to injuries. Militants and the Minister’s escort personnel exchanged heavy gunfire after the blast. In all six civilians sustained injuries in the blast and the follow-up firing. One of them, namely Naza D-o Abdur Rehman Paddar R-o Mirhama, succumbed to injuries. According to some reports, residents alleged that, after the attack, security forces held the villagers and the students of the nearby school hostage for several hours and roughed up a number of civilians. While as last evening, militants had launched a grenade attack on Sakeena’s house at Damhal Hanjipora, she survived a major attack on September 15th when a CRPF Sub Inspector and a civilian were killed. That day, she was returning from her election campaign. 3 pol activists killed In Kulgam area again, militants had appeared at Okay village, late last night, and shot dead two CPI(M) activists, namely Zahoor Ahmed Bhat S-o Ghulam Qadir Bhat and Abdur Rehman Dar S-o Abdul Ahad Dar. One more activist of the same party, Mohammad Ismail Hajjam S-o Abdul Gani Hajjam, was fired upon and left wounded. During the same night, militants appeared at Vessu village in Anantnag and shot dead an NC activist, Abdur Rehman Dekar S-o Abdur Razaq. At Hadipora village, in Kulgam, militants shot dead a truck driver, namely Pal Singh of Punjab, as also his conductor, Ramu. They were in south Kashmir for transportation of apple to New Delhi. It could not be ascertained immediately as to why militants had killed the duo. In Kulgam again, a fierce gunbattle took place between militants and security forces at Huniheng foothills of Pirpanjal. Three militants of Hizbul Mujahideen got killed. One of them was identified as Sabzar Ahmed Malik alias Zaffar S-o Bashir Ahmed R-o Sainpari, Dhanow Kandimarg. A 10-year-old boy, Zahid Ahmed Dar S-o Gulzar Ahmed Dar, died in the crossfiring while as his brother, 12-year-old Javed Ahmed Dar sustained injuries. At Palpora, Kangan, unidentified militants intruded into the house of one Abdul Ahad Rather and shot dead the Primary School teacher, Javed Iqbal Shah S-o Abdul Hameed Shah R-o Shumnag, Kupwara. Cong leader attacked Sources said that at Kokernag, in south Kashmir, militants lobbed a hand grenade on the election rally of the senior Congress leader Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed. It exploded on the target, causing splinter injuries to 10 civilians. Most of them were rushed to hospital. Sayeed is JKPCC vice president and the party’s candidate in Kokernag assembly constituency. At Lashtyal, in Kupwara district, school children lifted an unexploded shell and began fiddling with it. It went off, killing two children, namely Nisar Ahmed Lone S-o Bashir Ahmed Lone and Tariq Ahmed Malik S- o Abdur Rasheed Malik of Lashtyal. Another child, Fayyaz Ahmed Bhat S- o Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, was rushed to a Srinagar hospital. In Aeshmuqam area of Anantnag district, a counter-insurgent Ikhwani, namely Mohammad Maqbool Bhat of Batkoot, snatched away a Tata Sumo vehicle, JK03-2035, from its driver on gun point. He began driving on Aeshmuqam-Nowgam road. At a bus-stop, he knocked down as many as 10 school children. They were rushed to hospital. Two of the critically injured, namely Surraya D-o Ghulam Hassan Lone R-o Nowgam and Roomi Jan D-o Mohammad Amin Shah R-o Rakh Chandipora, succumbed to injuries. Police have arrested the Ikhwani and registered a case of reckless and negligent driving and murder against him.