Two IRP Men Killed At Point Blank

Two IRP Men Killed At Point Blank

2 March 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Sharp shooters of militants this morning made a comeback by killing two policemen at point blank range in North Kashmir’s Handwara township. Security forces launched a massive hunt against the militants responsible for shooting of two policemen. Handwara is near the Line of Control (LoC) and this has been one of the active infiltration routes. IGP Kashmir, Shive Murari Sahai said here that two militants fired at two Indian Reserve Police (IRP) men who were performing their duty in Handwara town at around 11.10 a.m. The two IPR men were identified as Constable Santosh Singh, 26, son of Tara Singh of Katiyal in district Kathua and Constable Azad Chand, 27, son of Purab Chand of Ghangwalt, Chenani district of Udhampur in Jammu. Police said that two militants who fired at the two cops at point blank range were masked. “They fired two bullets, one each at the two cops. Both the cops were shot in the neck and the bullet pierced through their heads”, police added. The militants fled from the scene after carrying out the attack leaving the cops in a pool of blood. They were immediately rushed to the Sub-district Hospital Handwara where doctors declared them brought dead. Both of them had joined police in 2009 and were attached with IRP 16th Battalion. Panic gripped the township and shopkeepers closed their shops. Senior police and Army officers rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. The IGP Kashmir also visited the spot to assess the situation and attended the wreath laying ceremony of the two cops. Police sources said that the militants who carried out the attack are believed to be highly trained and used only two bullets to kill the two cops. Both the cops were shot in the neck. Police recovered two empty shells of pistol bullets from the spot. The sharp shooters returned after eight months as last time they killed two policemen in Pulwama and Kulgam towns of South Kashmir in July last year in a single day. Police sources said that Lashkar-e-Toiba or Hizbul Mujahideen might be involved in the killings as they had been carrying such type of attacks in the past. In January this year, a Sarpanch was killed and a woman Sarpanch was shot at in the neck in a similar fashion in Sopore area of North Kashmir. Police believes that these militants might be the same who shot the Panchayat members in Sopore. However, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack. The spokesman of Jamiat told local news agencies that it was a revenge attack against police for targeting “innocent” youth across Kashmir valley. It may be mentioned here that after the security forces countered Fidayeen attacks of militants, the militant groups focused on sharpshooting tactics in 2009 under which they shoot security personnel in busy market places by using silencer fitted pistols. Over 10 security men have been killed in such point blank attacks in Kashmir valley since 2009. The killings of two police men came a week after a Sarpanch was killed in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district by militants at point blank range. The IGP Kashmir while talking to reporters in Handwara after wreath laying ceremony of two constables said that these incidents do take place and last year such incidents took place in other parts of Kashmir valley. Sahai said that Kashmir police is being targeted for being active against the militants and the successes they achieve against them. “We are paying price for being active in anti-militancy operations. As we are getting successes, we are being targeted for that”, he added. The IGP said that militancy is on wane and there has been 40 per cent reduction in militant violence for past one year. He said that militancy has been here for long and these kinds of attacks might take place. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has condemned the killing of police personnel at Handwara and described it an act of cowards. In a condolence message to the bereaved families, the Chief Minister conveyed his sympathy and expressed solidarity with them and prayed for peace to the departed soils.