The terrorist attack on Wednesday afternoon at the heart of Srinagar killed a policeman and injured seven others. The men, believed to be Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, have taken hostage a number of people in a run-down hotel.
A sequential timeline of the incident follows.
2:05: Two militants fired shots in air and lobbed a grenade at a CRPF picket near Pladium Cinema.
2:15: In the melee triggered by grenade explosion, at least two militants run in opposite direction of the security camp and take shelter in Hotel Punjab, on Court Road. In bust of firing kills a cop and injure a CRPF personnel
3:30: Police seals off the area with concertina wires to keep crowd away from the encounter site.
4:00: Police use force at crowd assembles 200 metres away from the site when they shout pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans
4:30: Police engaged in stone pelting at two areas near the encounter site
7:30: Police claim people trapped were evacuated to safer places
8:00: Intermittent exchange of fire on
Pladium, once a cinema hall, is located just 500 metres west of Lal Chowk’s Ghanta Ghar. The cinema hall is occupied by CRPF personnel and has been a militant target for long now.
Lal Chowk is Srinagar’s main commercial area.
Hotel Punjab, where militants are hiding, is a three-storey building opposite to Pladium Cinema. It has Srinagar’s Lower Court to its south. It has in its backside labyrinth of lanes and bylanes and houses the Valley’s famous Forest Lane market next to the hotel.
The hotel has been cordoned from three sides.
No word from official sources if any civilian is trapped inside the hotel. Militants and security forces stopped exchanging fire to make way for civilians to flee from the spot.