ASI, Imam Shot Dead In Pulwama

ASI, Imam Shot Dead In Pulwama

10 May 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Militants today shot dead a police officer and an Imam in South Kashmir district of Pulwama while security forces have extended operation in Kupwara forests along the Line of Control (LoC) against the recently infiltrated group of militants to the adjacent areas. Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told Excelsior that Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police, Farooq Ahmad Sheikh, was shot dead at around 2 pm in Rajpora Chowk today. Kumar said that the police officer was unarmed and regulating traffic in the township when he was attacked from point blank range. The militants fled from the scene leaving the officer in a pool of blood. The Police officer was removed to the hospital where he succumbed to injuries. A police spokesman said here that ASI Farooq Ahmad hailed from Batamaloo area of Srinagar and is survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons. The spokesman said that a guard of honour and wreath laying ceremony was held for the officer at Pulwama and his body was later brought to Srinagar for last rites. Police sources said that two militants shot him at point blank range and he received two bullets in his head. The killing created panic in the township and senior police and security officers rushed to the spot to assess the situation. A man hunt has been launched against the militants responsible for the killing of the ASI. However, no one was arrested. A Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack. The DIG said that militants tonight fired at one Mudasir Ahmad Mir son of Ghulam Ahmad Mir of village Armola in district Pulwama. He was shifted to district hospital Pulwama where he succumbed to his injuries. Sources said that militants barged into his house and shot at him from point blank range. He received two bullets in his head and was left in a pool of blood. The reason behind his killing is not known. He was Imam of a local Masjid and had left it two months ago. For the past few years militants have been concentrating in South Kashmir after security forces put pressure on them in North Kashmir and killed their top commanders. Sources said that over the years militants have made fresh recruitments in South Kashmir areas of Tral, Awantipora, Pulwama, Kulgam , Pulwama and Shopian. In order to put pressure on militants in South Kashmir, the security forces set up two camps at Wuyan and Chattergam Budgam on the border of district Pulwama. The 50 RR of Armyís counter insurgency Victor Force set up a camp in village Hergam Wuyan on April 25 to prevent militants from targeting Srinagar city and National Highway from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen. The LeT Divisional Commander for South Kashmir, Mohammad Qasim, is operating in South Kashmir for over a year now. The Deputy of Qasim, Sajjad from village Zewan in the outskirts of Srinagar is active in South Kashmir for past 9 years. Police sources said that a top LeT commander Sajjad belonged to the area and he has been making movements in the area along with his associates that led to the setting up of the camp. Earlier last year in October Rashtriya Rifle of Victor Force set up a camp in the outskirts of Srinagar, in village Chattergam in the Central Kashmir district of Budgam bordering South Kashmir. The camp was closed 3 years ago and was set up gain last year to put pressure on militants in South Kashmir. The decision to set up the security camps in the outskirts of Srinagar was taken in a review meeting held on July 8 last year. It may be mentioned here that large number of security forces camps were closed in South Kashmir few years ago after improvement in the situation. Taking advantage of decreased security presence, militants are trying to re-group. The security forces donít want to take a chance at a time when Amarnath Yatra is round the corner and lakhs of pilgrims travel through South Kashmir for Darshan. Last year in July militants targeted an Army party in Pampore town on the National Highway when tourism was at its peak and thousands of Amarnath Yatris were using Srinagar-Jammu national highway for the pilgrimage. In the meantime sources said that security forces have extended the operation that they launched against recently infiltrated group of militants on May 7 to the adjacent area of the Budnal forests along the LoC in Kupwara. Armyís 4 para, 6-11 GR, 16 Grenadiers, 41 RR, 4 Kohman and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police are fanning the entire forest area to prevent them militant group from escaping from the cordoned area. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has condemned the killing of ASI, Farooq Ahmad Sheikh at Rajpora Chowk in Pulwama district and described it an act of cowardice. In his condolence message to the bereaved family and the Police Department, the Chief Minister has expressed his solidarity with them and highlighted the martyrdom of police jawans. He has prayed for peace to the departed soul while conveying his sympathy to the bereaved family.