In their second strike on security personnel in Srinagar in the month of August, militants killed two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and injured at least 25 people in two separate attacks here on Monday.
On August 1, militants had shot at two CRPF personnel from close range, killing one of them. A policeman was shot dead within an hour of the strike elsewhere in the city.
The police suspect that in both cases, the strikes were carried out jointly by modules of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police H.K. Lohia said two modules of nine to 10 militants were operating jointly at a thin level in Srinagar.
“Lashkar, Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad are working together. They are not capable of carrying out such attacks independently,” he said.
In the first attack on Monday, militants fired at a CRPF patrol at Lal Chowk in central Srinagar.
“Two of our jawans, Raj Shekhar and Malik Arjun of 28 Batallion were fired at by pistol. They received head injuries and succumbed in the hospital,” said CRPF spokesperson Prabhakar Tripathi.
A little later, militants struck at Batmaloo, barely a kilometre from Lal Chowk. They hurled a grenade at another CRPF patrol outside the headquarters of the fire and emergency services, 200 metres from the state assembly and the civil secretariat.
The explosion injured 25 people. “The injured include 20 civilians, three CRPF and two police personnel. The condition of one of the civilians is critical,” Lohia said.
The DIG said the police would change its strategy in dealing with militants in Srinagar. “The deployment of security forces on roads had been reduced to a great extent owing to an improvement in the situation. But now we are going to launch an offensive strategy to go after the militants,” he said.