Four Jammu and Kashmir policemen were killed in a militant attack on a police picket in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday. The attack was the first one by militants in the Valley after they suffered several blows in multiple encounters over the last one month in South Kashmir.
Police officers said that the policemen who were killed were guarding a minority picket, meant for security of a few Kashmiri pandit families in Zainapora area of Shopian. Four weapons belonging to the policemen were also taken by the militants after the attack, officials said. The four policemen have been identified as Abdul Majeed, Mehraj-ud-din, Anees and Hameed-ul-lah.
Majeed was a selection grade constable and a resident of Gandebal district, Mehraj-ud-din was a resident of Bandipora district in North Kashmir, while as Anees and Hameed-ul-lah were residents of Kulgam and Anantnag districts of South Kashmir respectively, officials said.
“We pay rich tributes to our colleagues Abdul Majeed, Mehraj-ud-din, Anees and Hameed-ul-lah who were #martyred in a #terror attack at #Shopian today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families at this juncture. RIP,” the state police tweeted.
Shopian district has witnessed a spurt in violence in the last one month. Apart from multiple encounters between security forces and militants, over a dozen civilians were abducted from South Kashmir villages by militants and two of them were killed on suspicion of being informers. The state police has recently claimed that they eliminated the top militant leadership in South Kashmir.
About the militant attack on Tuesday, police sources told The Indian Express that a group of militants entered the guard post of the minority picket. The militants fired indiscriminately, killing three policemen on the spot and injuring one. The injured policeman succumbed on way to the hospital, a senior police officer said.
After the attack on Tuesday, militants also posted pictures of the weapons taken by them from the police picket.
Senior state police officers, however, told The Indian Express that they are verifying the pictures that have appeared on social media. A senior police officer in Shopian said that they suspect JeM militants for the attack.
The mainstream political parties in the Valley condemned the killing.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said, “State has been at the receiving end with deaths, whether of a civilian, a policeman or a militant, becoming order of the day over the past three decades.”
Former CM Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Strongly condemn attack on policemen in Shopian claiming 3 precious lives…. Solidarity with families of jawans .Relieved that no harm caused to any civilians in the minority pocket they guarded.”