Civilian, cop shot dead by terrorists in Kashmir

A 45-year-old resident, Rouf Ahmed Khan, was fatally shot by gunmen in Srinagar’s Mirjanpora, Idgah area

Srinagar: The ghost of targeted killings has returned to the Kashmir Valley. On Wednesday evening, suspected militants shot and critically wounded a civilian in the capital Srinagar and a policeman in Bijbehara town of southern Anantnag district. Both succumbed in hospital soon after being targeted in cold blood, officials said.

A 45-year-old resident, Rouf Ahmed Khan, was fatally shot by gunmen in Srinagar’s Mirjanpora, Idgah area. He was rushed to the nearby Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital where he died minutes after arrival, the police and hospital sources said. The Kashmir zone police tweeted: “#Terrorists fired upon a #civilian namely Rouf Ahmad at Mirjanpora, Idgah, Police Station Safakadal #Srinagar. The injured was shifted to SMHS hospital where he was declared dead. #Case registered, investigation going on (sic.)”.

Half an hour later, a J&K police assistant sub-inspector was targeted by suspected militants in a similar fashion in the highway town of Bijbehara. The policeman, identified as Muhammad Ashraf, received bullet wounds in the neck and chest. He was initially taken to Bijbehara’s sub-district hospital but on seeing his condition the doctors asked for him to be shifted to a Srinagar hospital for advanced treatment, but he died on the way.

Earlier this month, two policemen were shot dead by militants in the northern town of Bandipore. This was the seventh such attack on the uniformed forces in the past few weeks. On December 13, an assistant sub-inspector and two other policemen were killed, and eleven others wounded in a sneak attack on a police bus in Zewan area on Srinagar’s periphery. The authorities, following these attacks and other stepped-up activities of militants, issued an updated security alert across J&K.

In October and November, the Valley had seen a series of target killings, the gory acts in which several members of minority Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh communities and workforce from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- both Hindus and Muslims -- fell to the bullets of the assassins. The authorities had blamed these killings on The Resistance Front and a couple of other obscure outfits which they insist were actually offshoots of the banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. They had also claimed later that most of those involved in these targeted killings were “neutralised” in swift operations of the J&K police and other security forces.

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