Kashmir’s leading cardiologist Dr Sheikh Jalal-ud-Din was critically injured and his two bodyguards killed on Thursday afternoon when suspected militants attacked them in south Kashmir’s Pampore area.
Around 4 pm, Dr Jalal-ud-Din (64), former director of the valley’s premiere hospital Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), was walking in a lane outside his ancestral house at Pampore’s Namblabal area, 15 km south of Srinagar, when two militants reportedly alighted from an adjacent lane.
“The militants from a side lane appeared and fired indiscriminately at them. Two police personnel accompanying Dr Jalal-ud-Din were killed on the spot. The doctor, who also sustained bullet injuries, was shifted to a hospital,” Kashmir inspector general of police (IGP) Abdul Ghani Mir told the Hindustan Times.
The police are investigating if the attack was a well-planned assassination bid on the doctor or an attack on the police personnel. “We are investigating the matter. Nothing can be said immediately,” said IGP Mir.
There were unconfirmed reports that militants were trying to snatch the weapons from the cops.
Dr Jalal-ud-Din, who served as director SKIMS from 2005 till 2007, was admitted to the hospital in Srinagar. “He (Dr Jala-ud-Din) has been hit by two bullets. One bullet has hit him in the head near an eye and another in the abdomen.
“We are operating upon him for the abdomen injuries. His condition is critical and remains in a semi-conscious state,” said SKIMS medical superintendent Dr Farooq Jan.
Dr Jalal-ud-Din, who has no political affiliations, is a protected person for being a former director. He, however, is married to former Congress leader late Ghulam Mohammad Mir Rajpuri’s daughter.
Thursday’s attack has come amid the surcharged atmosphere and protests in the wake of killing of seven people in Ramban district.
There is a heightened militant activity in the valley since the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Around 30 security personnel have been killed since the March 14 attack on CRPF in Srinagar, which includes around 10 cops.