Ten days before south Kashmir goes to polls, two militants attacked the house of a National Conference leader in Khrew village in Pulwama district, killing two policemen. The ultras were killed soon after in an encounter with security forces.
The militants had attacked the house of Yawar Masoodi, the organiser of the party’s south Kashmir youth wing, on Sunday afternoon while he was holding a meeting with party workers. While trying to barge into the house, they killed two policemen — constables Abdul Hameed and Vinod Kumar — who were standing guard, before fleeing with their weapons.
Soon after the incident security forces cordoned off the area and trapped the militants, police spokesperson Manoj Kumar Pandita said. Following this, an encounter ensued, in which the militants were killed, he added.
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Although the police claimed both militants were foreigners, they are yet to identify the bodies. They have recovered two AK-47s and the weapon that was snatched from the slain policemen.
The attack is the first incident of poll-related violence in Kashmir this year.
The ruling National Conference hinted at the role of opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the attack. “Definitely, those people who are going to lose will use any weapon to demoralise us,” party chief Farooq Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of a rally in Srinagar.
“But we will not get demoralised. We have seen many guns and bombs. We are not frightened,” he added.
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, “The attack on Yawar’s residence is evidence of the continued risk associated with being a mainstream politician in Kashmir.”