Srinagar: Militant attack on police bus kills 2, injures 12
A militant attack on a police bus in Srinagar’s high security Pantha Chowk on Monday evening injured 14 cops, two of whom later succumbed to their wounds.
The attack revived memories of the February 2019 Fidayeen attack on a CRPF bus in Pulwama in which 40 personnel were killed, resulting in air strikes by India and Pakistan on each others’ territories.
December 13 also marked the anniversary of Parliament attack.
The Pantha Chowk attack came on a day the security forces killed two militants in a brief purported gunfight at Rangreth, also in Srinagar, triggering angry protests by locals who blamed forces of staging the gunfight.
Police said a bus carrying cops from the 9th battalion came under attack at Pantha Chowk, home to several installations of police, paramilitary CRPF and ITBP. The windscreen of the bus was smashed, leaving a trail of blood inside.
A police spokesperson said all the 14 injured were shifted to the army’s 92 Base Hospital inside the 15 Corps headquarters located not far from the place of attack.
An assistant sub-inspector and a selection grade constable later succumbed to their wounds.
Police sources said the casualties might go up.
The cops were deployed on law-and-order duty during the day and were returning to Zewan camp on the outskirts of the city.
A large number of police and security forces rushed to the area that was immediately cordoned off. A search was under way till late in the evening.
Kashmir has witnessed a spate of attacks in recent weeks despite repeated claims by the Centre that violence was ebbing.
On Friday, two cops were killed in a busy Bandipora market.
“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,” former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.
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.— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) December 13, 2021
In a separate incident during the day, security forces said they killed two militants in Rangreth. The killings prompted dozens of angry men and women to clash with the forces.
The locals claimed the gunfight was staged. Even some women could be seen throwing stones at the forces who used tear gas shells to disperse them.