Two policemen were killed, and 12 CRPF personnel were injured in two separate attacks by militants in south Kashmir — the worst since the unilateral ceasefire was announced by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a pre-dawn attack in Pulwama on Tuesday, suspected militants opened fire at a police picket guarding the district court court complex, leaving two policemen dead and one injured. The militants took away two Insas rifles after the attack, which lasted for about 10 minutes. The injured policeman was rushed to the hospital and his condition is said to be critical.
In another pre-dawn attack, 10 CRPF personnel were injured when militants lobbed a hand grenade on a CRPF party near Janglat Mandi in Anantnag.
Meanwhile, troops detected and defused an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted near the road in Awantipora, preventing loss of life and property.
The slain policemen have been identified as senior grade constables Ghulam Rasool Lone of Lolab in Kupwara district and Ghulam Hassan Wagay of Wohlutra in Rafiabad.
As Wagay’s body reached Wohlutra, hundreds of people from his village and nearby villages came out to participate in the funeral. Wagay is survived by his wife, two sons aged 12 and 7, and a nine-year-old daughter. Constable Lone is survived by two sisters and five brothers.
Mainstream political leaders condemned the attack, terming it as an act of cowardice. “This was an act of cowardice and barbarity where two brave policemen were mercilessly killed on the holiest of the holy nights of Ramzan,” senior Opposition leader and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said.
Omar said that militants have to blame themselves “if security forces come back harder” on them. “With the militant organisations doing their best to make sure the ceasefire is a failure, they will have themselves to blame if the security forces come back at them even harder when the ceasefire ends,” he tweeted.
Senior PDP leader and PWD Minister Naeem Akhtar tweeted, “At such a historic moment our ‘brave’ boys could think only of killing two policemen to loot two guns in the holy night. Time to look beyond the futile beaten track into future of possibilities. Think out of box guys, move ahead on path to dignified peace. Make history not tragedies.”