Burqa-clad Ultras Target Securitymen, 2 Civilians Hurt

16 October 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: Suspected militants, clad in burqas, opened fire on security forces in Pulwama district today, leaving two civilians injured. After the shootout, a burqa-clad man, thought to be an alleged accomplice of the militants, was arrested from the spot. The shootout took place near to a busy bus stand in Pulwama, 32 km from here, around 12.30 pm, when a Special Operations Group of the J&K Police and the CRPF got a tip-off about the presence of burqa-clad militants in the town. 'We had information they (militants) were planning to carry out either an attack or snatch a rifle from any securitymen. As the joint teams spotted a parked Sumo, in which some women were sitting, policemen inquired about their identity. Two of them disclosed their identity while the third remained silent. We could see that the burqa-clad was not a woman, but a man. Suddenly, our parties came under heavy fire from two sides in which two civilians were injured,' said Tajinder Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Pulwama. 'Those who fired at the police party were also burqa clad,' said the SSP. The two injured civilians were identified as Rahti and Riyaz Ahmed, both residents of Arihal village in Pulwama. Their condition is stated to be stable. Sources said the militants whose number was between two and three escaped from the spot. Security forces, however, managed to arrest a burqa-clad overground worker from the vehicle. He was identified as Tariq Ahmed, a resident of Drachu in Pulwama. 'Tariq is not a listed militant. We are investigating,' Tejinder Singh said. The police are investigating to which group Tariq belongs. The police also recovered a sharp-edged weapon from Tariq, hinting that the militants may have had plans to snatch a rifle from securitymen. Last month, the police claimed to have foiled a major plan of militants of recruiting 14 youths by rescuing them in Pulwama district. The youths were handed over to their parents after counselling by the police. Three ultras escape * The shootout took place near to a busy bus stand in Pulwama, 32 km from Srinagar, around 12.30 pm on Friday, when a Special Operations Group of the J&K Police and the CRPF got a tip-off about the presence of burqa-clad militants in the town * Sources said the militants whose number was between two and three escaped from the spot * Two civilians were injured in the attack