Four policemen were killed in a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion on Saturday, which had been planted by suspected militants, in Sopore, Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. The explosion took place at Gole Market, where separatists were observing a bandh. There was heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces in the town at the time of the incident, to maintain normalcy and prevent any protests. According to sources, militants had planted the bomb inside the market after sensing heavy presence of forces today. The wreath laying ceremony for the victims will be held today.
J-K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti took to Twitter to condemn the incident. “Pained to hear that four policeman have been killed in an IED explosion in Sopore,” she tweeted. ”My deepest condolences to their families.”
Pained to hear that four policeman have been killed in an IED explosion in Sopore. My deepest condolences to their families.
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) January 6, 2018
Senior police officers rushed to the town immediately after receiving news of the explosion, to take stock of situation.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed grief as well today. “Very sad news from #Sopore. May the four brave J&K police personnel killed in the line of duty today rest in peace,” he tweeted.
Separatists are observing a shutdown in Sopore today, to protest the killing of over 50 civilians on this day in 1993.
The incident comes days after the commencement of the budget session of the state legislative Assembly. The session began on a stormy note on Tuesday, which Opposition members disrupting the Governor’s address, and staging a walkout. They were protesting unrest in the Valley.
During the Winter Session of Parliament, the government had stated that there were 341 terror incidents in the state between November 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017. There were 311 incidents in the same period the previous year. Mos (Home) Hansraj Ahir had said the overall security situation in J&K has improved, and attributed it to demonetisation.