Terrorists attack residence of BJP leader in Srinagar, policeman martyred


NC, BJP, Congress condemn attack; IGP Kashmir visits area


Srinagar: A policeman was martyred when terrorists fired upon the residence of a BJP leader in Nowgam area of the city here on Thursday, police said.
BJP leader Anwar Ahmad, who is the party’s District General Secretary for Baramulla and in-charge for Kupwara district, is safe, a police official said.
The official said that the terrorists fired upon the guard post of the BJP leader at Arigam Nowgam in the outskirts of the city here this morning.
In the firing, Constable Rameez Raja was injured and rushed to SMHS hospital in the city where doctors declared him brought dead.
Medical Superintendent of SMHS Hospital, Dr Nazir Chowdhary, said the cop was brought dead to the hospital. Terrorists decamped with an SLR rifle from the spot.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar, who visited the area, said two of the four have been identified, and they are from Srinagar city.
Kumar said one of the four militants was wearing a ‘Burqa’ (veil) and imitated a woman’s voice while asking the guard at the residence of the BJP leader Anwar Ahmad to open the main door.
“There was one sentry on the main door and two cops in the guard room. As is clear from the CCTV footage, one terrorist wearing a ‘Burqa’ knocked on the main door and asked, imitating a woman’s voice, for opening it,” the IGP told reporters on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of the slain cop — Rameez Raja — at the Police Control Room here.
Kumar said when the sentry opened the door, two other militants fired indiscriminately on him and the fourth one decamped with his rifle.
“The militants came and fired indiscriminately, resulting in the on-spot death of the jawan,” he said.
The IGP said two militants out of the four have been identified.
“Initially, we thought the one wearing a ‘Burqa’ was a lady, but when we analysed the CCTV footage closely, we found that it was not a lady, but a male and a terrorist. Two out of the four have been identified and are from Srinagar city.
“They belong to the LeT outfit. One of them is Shahid Khurshid Dar. He is from Chanapora and is a categorized terrorist. The other is Obaid Shafi Dar. They both joined the LeT last year along with four others,” he said.
“We will neutralise them soon after generating pinpoint intelligence,” the IGP added.
He said security forces have been conducting several operations in the last three months, but “there has not been much success”.
“We will increase the (anti-militancy) operations and strengthen the intelligence gathering and will soon neutralise them,” Kumar said.
To pay honour and respect to the martyr, a wreath lying ceremony was held at DPL Srinagar where floral tributes were paid to the martyr. Senior officers of Civil, Police and Paramilitary forces led by Div Com Kashmir P.K. Pole, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, IG CRPF Deepak Rathan, DIG CKR Amit Kumar, DC Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz laid floral wreaths on the mortal remains and paid rich tributes to the martyr.
The martyr’s body was handed over to his next of kins for last rites.
“J&K Police stands by the family of martyr at this critical juncture and pays rich tributes to the martyr for his supreme sacrifice made in the line of duty”, the spokesperson added.
Police has registered a case in this regard under relevant sections of law and officers continue to work to establish the full circumstances of this terror crime. Cordon and search operation at various locations is going on to nab the assailants.
BJP’s media in-charge Manzoor Bhat said the party’s Kashmir unit strongly condemns the brutal attack.
The National Conference (NC) has condemned the attack on a BJP leader’s house and expressed sympathies with the family of a policeman killed in the incident.
NC vice president Omar Abdullah expressed unison with the bereaved family of policeman Rameez Raja, a party statement said.
It said party General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar also condemned the incident and prayed for peace to the departed soul.
The BJP has also condemned the militant attack on a party leader’s house in Srinagar that left his police guard dead, saying such incidents cannot weaken democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina said the whole humanity is feeling shocked and ashamed on such incidents.
“Being soldiers of democracy, the social and political activists work tirelessly in strengthening the democracy, but terrorists, their bosses and their sympathisers do not want people to prosper,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir K BJP General Secretary (Organisation) Ashok Kaul said those who attacked Khan’s residence and martyred the innocent policeman would not be spared.
“All BJP leaders of the country stand by the family of the deceased in this difficult situation. Those who are responsible for the act should be neutralised,” he said.
Kaul demanded BJP workers be given proper security, so that they will not become easy targets for anti-national elements.
The BJP leaders expressed solidarity with the bereaved family of the policeman.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) strongly condemned the killing and expressed serious concern over the “deteriorating situation in the valley”.
In a statement, the JKPCC described the incident as “cowardice and shameful act”.
The party also expressed serious concern over the frequent militant attacks in Kashmir and emphasised on the government to take more effective measures to contain such mindless attacks and ensure that there are no further loss of lives.
The party is highly concerned about the loss of lives, the JKPCC said, conveying deepest condolences to the family of the slain policeman.