2 dead as J-K police bus hit by terrorists
Two policemen were killed and 12 other officials suffered serious injuries in a terrorist attack on a bus carrying personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police on the outskirts of Srinagar on Monday evening, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought details of the attack and expressed condolences to the families of the deceased, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The bus carrying at least 24 officials of the 9th battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Indian Reserve Police Battalion came under fire from terrorists in Zewan in Pantha Chowk area at around 6.50pm, the police said. The officials were deployed in the Srinagar city and were returning to the headquarters when the bus came under attack.
The area houses several camps of various security forces. Initially, officials said 14 police personnel were injured in the attack and were evacuated to various hospitals in the area.
“Terrorists fired upon a police vehicle near Zewan in Pantha Chowk area of Srinagar. 14 personnel injured in the attack. All the injured personnel evacuated to hospital. Area cordoned off,” a tweet from the official handle of the J-K police spokesperson said soon after the attack.
Assistant sub-inspector Ghulam Hassan from Ramban and selection grade constable Shafique Ali from Reasi died during treatment, the spokesperson later said.
Some of the injured personnel were reported to be critical, the spokesperson said.
Citing “credible sources”, Kashmir inspector general of police Vijay Kumar said that the attack was carried out by Kashmir Tigers, an offshoot of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM). “In the retaliatory firing, one of the terrorists was injured and the group involved in this gruesome terrorist attack will be soon brought to justice,” he said.
The area has been cordoned off and a search operation launched to track down the assailants, the officials said. At least three terrorists were involved in the attack, the officials said.
The attack came on the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Parliament building in the national capital by JeM. On December 13 in 2001, terrorists attacked the Parliament complex, killing nine people. All five terrorists were shot dead.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister’s Office said: “PM Narendra Modi has sought details on the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. He has also expressed condolences to the families of those security personnel who have been martyred in the attack.”
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and top politicians also condemned the terror attack.
“Strongly condemn the cowardly terrorist attack on J-K Police bus in Srinagar. My homage to our brave martyred police personnel. We are committed to ensure that perpetrators are punished. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” Sinha said on Twitter.
“Directed the concerned authorities to provide best possible treatment to the injured. I pray for their speedy recovery. Our police and security forces are determined to neutralize the evil forces of terrorism,” he said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti also offered condolences to the bereaved families.
“Terrible news of a terror attack on a police bus on the outskirts of Srinagar. I unequivocally condemn this attack while at the same time send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased & prayers for the injured,” National Conference leader Abdullah tweeted.
Mufti, meanwhile, attacked the Centre for a “false narrative of normalcy” in Kashmir. “Terribly sad to hear about the Srinagar attack in which two policemen were killed. GOIs false narrative of normalcy in Kashmir stands exposed yet there has been no course correction. My condolences to the bereaved families,” she tweeted.
The attack came days after two policemen were killed in an attack in Kashmir’s Bandipora district on December 10.
This is the second major terror attack in the Valley after a string of targeted civilian killings along the Union territory.
Earlier in September 2017, one policeman was killed and three were injured when terrorists attacked a police vehicle in the same area.
(With agency inputs)