Two militants critically injured Kashmir’s leading cardiologist Dr Sheikh Jalal-ud-Din and killed his two police guards in an audacious attack in south Kashmir’s Pampore area on Thursday.
The militants shot at Dr Jalal-ud-Din, 64, former director of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), around 4pm when he was walking in a lane outside his ancestral house at Namblabal, 15 km south of Srinagar.
One bullet hit him in the head near an eye and another in the abdomen even as his police guards fell.
“The militants appeared from a side lane fired indiscriminately at them. The two police personnel accompanying Dr Jalal-ud-Din were killed on the spot. The doctor was rushed to SKIMS,” Abdul Ghani Mir, inspector general of police (IGP), Kashmir, said.
The police are investigating if the attack was an assassination bid or an attack on the police personnel. There were unconfirmed reports that militants were trying to snatch the weapons from the doctor’s bodyguards. “Nothing can be said immediately,” Mir said.
SKIMS medical superintendent Dr Farooq Jan said Dr Jalal-ud-Din’s condition was critical. “We are operating on him. He is in a semi-conscious state.”
Dr Jalal-ud-Din, who served as director SKIMS from 2005 till 2007, is married to former Congress leader late Ghulam Mohammad Mir Rajpuri’s daughter. He has police protection due to his status as the former director of SKIMS.
The attack comes amid the surcharged atmosphere in Jammu and Kashmir following the killing of four people in Ramban district in firing by the Border Security Force (BSF).
There is a heightened militant activity in the valley since the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9. Around 30 security personnel including 10 police officials have been killed since then in a series of attacks.