Three Indian Reserve Police force personnel were killed and 12 others injured in an attack by Kashmiri resistance fighters in the Zewan area of the capital Srinagar on Monday evening.
The attack was claimed by a rebel group known as “Kashmir Tigers.” In a statement, the group said: “Freedom fighters of Kashmir Tigers ambushed the buses carrying Indian Reserve Police stooges in Zehwan area of central Kashmir Srinagar. In this lightning strike, 15 IRP stooges were neutralised while more than a dozen stooges were critically injured.
“The strike is a tribute to all the martyrs of Kashmir resistance. This strike is an answer to the occupation regime and their stooges for the atrocities they were carrying against innocent civilians…
“We will continue our attacks against occupational forces. We will fight till the last drop of our blood till the land of Jammu and Kashmir is liberated from Indian occupation.”
This was the first attack of such magnitude in Kashmir Valley since the February 14, 2019 attack on an Indian parliamentary forces bus in which 40 personnel were killed and several others injured.
The police said in a statement: “Preliminary investigation has revealed that three (militants) had fired indiscriminately upon a police vehicle carrying police personnel of 9th Battalion near Zewan Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. The police party were coming back to their campus after finishing their duties.
“Credible sources revealed that the attack was carried by Kashmir Tigers, an offshoot of JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad). In the retaliatory firing, one of the militants got injured and the group involved in this attack will be soon brought to justice.”
“Militants took advantage of darkness managed to escape from the spot,” the police added.
According to the hospital sources, at least four policemen are still in a critical condition. Police said Constable Rameez Ahmad, Assistant Sub Inspector Ghulam Hassan and Constable Safique Ali succumbed to injuries at the Indian Army’s 92 Base Camp at Badami Bagh hospital.
The list (accessed by 5Pillars) of police personnel injured in the attack have been identified Sajad Ahmad of Hariparigam Tral Pulwama, Bishmber Dass of Rabta Jammu, Sanjay Kumar of Dhanera Rajouri, Vikas Sharma, Abdul Majeed of Sangiiwani Rajpora Pulwama, Mudasir Ahamd of Panner Tral, Ravi Kanth of Heranagar Kathua, Showkat Ali of Hadrdumir Tral, Arshid Mohammad of badibrahmana Jammu, Liyaqat Ali of Mohichak Kathua, Narinder Singh (driver of the bus) and constable Adil.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, offered condolences to the families of the deceased. His office tweeted: “PM @narendramodi has sought details on the militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir. He has also expressed condolences to the families of those forces personnel who have been martyred in the attack.”
Earlier in the day on Monday, scores of youth, men and women hit the streets of Rangreth Srinagar and pelted stones on Indian police and parliamentary forces after two suspected “militants” were killed in a brief “encounter.”
The police used pellet shotguns and tear-gas canisters to disperse the crowd. Eyewitness and residents of the Rangreth area alleged that the Indian forces killed the duo in a “fake encounter.”
They said both were unarmed and were brought here by the police and killed. In a video that circulated on social media, an elderly woman is seen yelling: “We haven’t died yet so you will snatch our children from us in such a cold-blooded way.”