“Brave” is the word SP Vaid, director general of Jammu Kashmir police, used to describe constable Manzoor Ahmed Naik, who was killed in a gun-battle between security forces and militants on Sunday.
Naik, a resident of Dachna, Salamabad, north Kashmir was a part of the special operations group (SOG) of the state police that specialises in counter-insurgency operations.
According to reports, constable Naik played a key role in Sunday’s encounter by twice placing explosives around the house in which the two militants were holed up and bringing it down. In his second attempt to fit explosives, Naik was fatally shot.
“Naik was an outstanding jawan of the SOG (special operations group) and the J-K police,” Vaid told the media and expressed sympathy for Naik’s family.
Sources close to the family told HT that Naik is survived by his toddler son Arzoo Manzoor and pregnant wife Nasreena Begum and an aged father. His two brothers are unemployed and Naik was the sole bread winner of the family.
In a wreath-laying ceremony in Srinagar, education minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari led civil, police and security force officers in paying the last respects to the slain policeman.
Naik was buried in his village and senior superintendent of police, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain attended the last rites ceremony of the martyr.
Naik volunteered for assignment
Naik volunteered on both occasions to place the explosives to bring down the house at Reshipora from which the two militants were firing.
Undeterred by the assault rifle fire, he crawled in and placed charges around the house, a senior officer recalled. The constable came under heavy fire as he started retreating towards his position but managed to escape, they said.
The explosives planted by him, though, brought down only half of the house. This was followed by a heavy exchange of fire which continued till nearly 2 AM.
The situation was tense as people in the nearby locality were protesting and social media was abuzz with rumours to mobilize more people, an officer said.
The firing then stopped and following a wait of two hours, Niak again volunteered to plant explosives to bring down what remained of the house, after an Army Major suffered serious gunshot injuries.
As he charged towards the house this time, he was hit by a volley of bullets from a militant. Despite his wounds, Naik planted the explosives before breathing his last.