Cop killed as militant attack police station in Shopian

 A policeman was killed on Sunday after militants attacked a police station in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, considered the hotbed of militancy in the state. PTI file photo

A policeman was killed on Sunday after militants attacked a police station in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, considered the hotbed of militancy in the state.
 
A police spokesperson said a group of militants appeared outside the police station in Shopian, and fired indiscriminately during early hours of Sunday. “The attack was repulsed by the alert jawans. (However) in this incident one policeman (constable Saqib Mir) sustained injures,” he said, and added the injured policeman succumbed at the hospital.
 
Sources said the militants fled after the attack and also took away the service rifle of the deceased policeman. On September 21, three policemen, two of them special police officers (SPOs), were kidnapped and later killed in the same district. 
 
South Kashmir has been the most restive zone of the Valley for the last three years and Shopian has emerged as a hotbed of militancy during the period. A centre of horticulture, Shopian is famous as the apple bowl of Kashmir. 
 
The district has traditionally been a bastion of regional Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was seen to have a soft-separatist agenda before it entered into an alliance with the BJP in March 2015. This pushed many away from the PDP and turned them into separatists and militant sympathisers.
 
An SPO, who was deployed with a PDP MLA from Wachi in Shopian, who had run off with seven AK-47 rifles and a pistol from the lawmaker’s residence in Srinagar on Friday, belongs from the same district.
 
A senior police officer said the number of militants present in Shopian at any given time is “as high as 50”. “Militants from surrounding Kulgam, Anantnag and Pulwama districts, too, have moved into Shopian along with some foreign ultras as they have a huge support base in the district. Within Shopian, security forces face the toughest challenge in over 60 villages — an area of dense apple orchards,” he said.

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Cop killed as militant attack police station in Shopian

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