Militants kill 2 cops ahead of PM's visit

Militants kill 2 cops ahead of PM's visit

Militants kill 2 cops ahead of PM's visit

Three days ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Kashmir, militants struck in heart of Srinagar city, killing two policemen on Saturday.

Eyewitnesses told Deccan Herald that two pistol-toting militants on a motorbike fired upon a police party resulting in injuries to two cops and a passer-by girl in Hari Singh High Street market, just half-a-kilometre away from Civil Secretariat and Police ControRoom, at 2.20 pm. The injured were rushed to hospital where doctors declared both policemen brought dead while the condition of injured girl was out of danger.

The dead cops were identified as head constable Muhammad Maqbool (Belt no 971/S) and constable Nazir Ahmad, while the injured girl has been identified as Ishrat.

Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari said militants fired on the policemen when they were performing their duties in the busy market place.

Reports said the police fired in the air which created panic in the area and people ran for cover. Senior police officers rushed to the spot to assess the situation.

Reports said soon after the attack, police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Forces cordoned off the area and started search operations.

It is pertinent to mention here that on Friday, the police carried out a crackdown in Srinagar city’s commercial hub Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas, following intelligence inputs that militants might try to strike ahead of the prime minister’s visit on June 25.

No militant outfit claimed responsibility for the attack till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, militants on Friday evening gave the slip to a joint party of the army and Special Operations Group of police during a cordoning operation in the Nihama area of Kakpora in South Kashmir's Pulwama district. Sources said that acting on information of the presence of militants, security forces started combing operation to flush them out. 

However, they said, the militants managed to flee from the spot, taking advantage of darkness.