2 Cops Shot Dead Ahead Of PM Visit

2 Cops Shot Dead Ahead Of PM Visit

22 June 2013
The Asian Age
Yusuf Jameel

Srinagar: In a broad day light sneak attack, gunmen shot two Jammu and Kashmir policemen dead at Srinagar’s Hari Singh High on Saturday, causing momentary commotion in the busy marketplace. A girl passerby was injured in the shootout which comes days ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the state. The police blamed the killings on Islamic militants, whereas chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the incident as an “act of barbarism and cowardice.” The killing of policemen for which no militant outfit has owned responsibility so far comes at a stage when a security red-alert has been sounded and Srinagar has extra presence of men in khaki who have stepped up security in the summer capital as in other places scheduled to be visited by the Prime Minister during his two-day visit beginning on Tuesday. He would be accompanied by UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The slain cops, head-constable Muhammad Maqbool Mir and senior-grade constable Nazir Ahmed Hajam, were on routine duty when targeted by the gunmen, officials said. “The policemen from Shaheed Gunj police station on routine duty at Hari Singh High Street were shot from point blank range at 2.20 pm. One of them died on the spot whereas the other was declared brought dead at a local hospital,” they said adding a bullet fired by the assailants also hit a girl resident Ishrat, who is being treated at hospital. Eyewitnesses said policemen in the area fired rifle shots in the air after their colleagues were targeted by gunmen reportedly using a silencer-fitted pistol. Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Abdul Gani Mir said the police suspected Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit carried out the attack. A police handout says that slain policeman Mir is “survived by aged parents, wife, three daughters and a son” while Hajam by “aged mother, wife, a ten years old son and a seven years old daughter.” A wreath laying ceremony held at the district police lines here was attended by government representatives and senior police officials. Chief minister Abdullah in a statement lauded the members of J&K Police force for their “bravery and extra-ordinary dedication towards the duty” and said that the men in uniform have always rendered valuable service and sacrificed their lives for the safety and protection of the people. No militant group has owned responsibility for killing the policemen.