Militants carried out two attacks on police forces in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday night, pushing the state to high-alert, days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit and the upcoming parliamentary by-elections there. The first incident was reported from Budgam district, which falls under Srinagar Parliamentary seat going to polls in the second week of April, where militants barged into the house of a sub-inspector last night and took his son and a nephew hostage, ransacked the house and set a car ablaze.
The militants drove away in the car with the two boys but let them off later, setting the vehicle on fire, police said. The incident came barely three weeks after militants had barged into the house of a senior police officer in Shopian in South Kashmir and ransacked his house, sending a shockwave among police officers fighting militancy for last 26 years.
The militants entered the house of Sub Inspector M Subhan Bhat and started ransacking his house in Chadoora area of the district in central Kashmir, official sources said, adding that they later took his son and a nephew as hostage and drove away in the car. According to the police, the militants said they wanted to kill the officer who is currently posted at the Baramulla district jail, where militant-turned separatist leader Masarat Alam is lodged.
Director General of Police S P Vaid said that stern action would be taken against those responsible for the incident. “It’s the most unfortunate incident to have happened. The terrorists are feeling the heat and stooping so low. Our humane approach should not be seen as our weakness. I will ensure the welfare of every personnel in my force and such incidents will be dealt with an iron hand,” he said.
Director General of Prisons S K Mishra said that he has called for a review meeting tomorrow to ascertain the safety of his personnel and their families guarding various jails in the state. In another incident, three boys, riding a motor-cycle, threw chilly powder into the eyes of a personal security officer of a cleric in Jammu, besides hitting him with blunt objects and fleeing with his AK-47 rifle. A high alert was immediately sounded in Jammu city and security was beefed up in view of the Prime Minister’s visit there on 2 April for the inauguration of the Chenani-Nashri tunnel.The incident took place last night when constable Mohd Hanief, PSO of Anjuman Minhaj-e-Rasool chairman Maulana Dehlavi, was walking down to the district police lines on Saturday night, police said. Police have arrested two of the suspects — Masood and Shahid, and launched a manhunt to track down the third accused Asif who decamped with the AK-47 rifle. Masood hails from Shopian district. All the three have a police record of being stone-pelters and have been missing for some time.
The injured constable has been admitted to the Government Medical College in Jammu.