J&K former DySP shot dead

Police, backed by security forces, launch a manhunt to arrest killers

 Ahead of Independence Day celebrations, suspected militants shot dead a retired police officer in  Srinagar city on Friday

Police said Abdul Hamid Bhat, a retired deputy superintendent of police, was shot by pistol borne assailants point blank while he was coming out of a mosque in Batamaloo area here after offering Friday prayers at 1:45 pm. “He was rushed to hospital where he was declared brought dead,” a police spokesperson said.

Reports said police, backed by security forces, launched a manhunt to find the killers, who managed to escape from the scene of crime taking advantage of the crowd coming out of the mosque.

Bhat, a resident of Mominabad in Batamaloo, had retired from the police last year. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility of the attack so far. The attack came at a time when security in Srinagar and other major towns have been beefed up ahead of Independence Day celebrations. Sources said police have been put on alert throughout the valley. There has been a sudden surge in grenade attacks and point-blank killings by militants in Kashmir over the last few months.In the last few weeks at least eight grenade attacks were carried out by militants in different parts of the valley besides six attacks on village heads and encounters near the Line of Control.

Last week, police had detained two young boys aged 12 and 13 for questioning for allegedly hurling grenades at police and security forces in north Kashmir’s Sopore town.

Changed strategy

Police sources told Deccan Herald that of late militants have changed their strategy of direct confrontation with the security forces and “instead they are outsourcing terror activities.”

“They (militants) recruit young boys who have no police record to carry out attacks on police, security forces and political workers. After carrying out the attack these young boys resume their normal activities making it tough for police to track them,” they added.
The Army put number of active militants in Kashmir at 280-300.

They maintain that 550-600 militants are waiting on the launching pads across the Line of Control to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir.

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