Two policemen were killed and another was injured in a militant attack on a checkpoint in Srinagar on Friday, as security was tightened across the Valley ahead of Independence Day.
Also read: Militant trio shot dead in Srinagar seige
“Police were busy with the extended deployment in Srinagar and on the city outskirts. The militants found a chance to attack a joint party of the SSB and the police at Nowgam. The attackers are being identified,” said Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh.
According to the police, the militants appeared from a by-lane and opened indiscriminate fire on the checkpoint, manning the Srinagar-Baramulla highway at Nowgam in Srinagar.
The deceased policemen were identified as Fayaz Ahmed and Ishfaq Ayoub of the Indian Reserve Police (IRP).
A little-known militant outfit, People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF), claimed responsibility for the attack. “PAFF is an offshoot of the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). Security forces immediately cordoned off the area to nab the attackers,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar told The Hindu .
Speaking at a wreath laying ceremony for the deceased policemen, DGP Singh said such attacks were usually carried when the situation in Kashmir showed improvement. “Our neighbour can’t tolerate peace prevailing in the Valley.”
He said anti-militancy operations would be further intensified in the days ahead. “Militants will not be allowed to sabotage the peaceful atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, security was tightened across the Valley ahead of Independence Day.
Dozens of checkpoints have been set up and many stretches closed for traffic in capital Srinagar, where the main I-Day function will take place. Mobile bunkers have been deployed to patrol the streets of the capital.
There was thin traffic on the roads due to the security arrangements.
Regional parties, including J&K Apni Party (J&KAP), Congress and the National Conference have condemned the attack on the policemen in Srinagar.
“Police must track down the militants and punish them. This attack is an act of frustration,” said BJP spokesman Altaf Thakur.
“Violence is not a solution, but a gigantic impediment that spreads hatred,” said a J&KAP spokesman. “In any of its manifestations, violent extremism is unacceptable in a civilised society, regardless of political, ideological or religious motivations.”