Pin pointed intelligence gathering by policemen led to killing of top militant commanders
On the eve of the Eid celebrations in Kashmir Valley a group of unidentified terrorists Friday sprayed bullets on the police bus on the outskirts of Srinagar near Pantha Chowk in which one Head constable was martyred while three others were injured.
Militant commanders operating in Kashmir valley have been regularly warning state police force to go slow against them else face action.
The policemen were returning to police headquarters after performing day long duty on ground zero.
Ahead of Eid celebrations, the entire Kashmir Valley was put in a state of high alert following inputs that terrorists were planning a fidayeen strike ahead of Eid.
But instead of preventing the terror strike the policemen themselves became their target.
‘Unarmed’ policemen became sitting ducks
Ironically, the terrorists once again chose the vulnerable stretch of Pantha Chown near Zewan to target the police bus and managed to flee from the spot without suffering any causalities.
This is the fourth terror attack on J&K police personnel in last six days in Kashmir Valley.
One ASI was targeted by terrorists in Anantnag while he was on duty on August 28. He later succumbed in army hospital inviting wide spread condemnation of the attack.
Heart-wrenching images of the police officer’s young daughter, wearing her school uniform, had triggered a chain reaction among senior police officers who questioned the perpetrators of mindless violence in Kashmir Valley in the name of spearheading ‘Azadi movement’.The police officers had also questioned the silence of the separatists and their ‘intellectual cronies’ over the killing of the ASI.
Another police officer was targeted in Shopian while he was playing volleyball in his native village. Before this eight security personnel attained martyrdom in an audacious strike on District Police lines Pulwama on August 26.
The latest strike on September 1 clearly points towards a deliberate change of strategy by the terror outfits.
Is targeting policemen easy compared to Army personnel?
Compared to army personnel targeting policemen is much easier and prone to fewer risks for armed militants.
Presence of police men in general areas and their vulnerability made them easy targets in comparison to army personnel as their movements are restricted and they are better equipped to handle militant strikes due to the presence of a Quick Response Team (QRT) in their convoy movement.
Another possible reason for targeting policemen is avenging deaths of top militant commanders.
It is largely believed a joint team of security forces could carry out surgical operations in built up areas and eliminated top commanders only after local police and other state agencies shared crucial human intelligence about the presence of top commanders in built up areas.
Militant commanders operating in Kashmir valley have been regularly warning state police force to go slow against them else face action. The militant commanders had even threatened families of some of these police officers to spread a reign of terror but failed to do so as state policemen relentlessly carried out operations and eliminated a large number of commanders to restore peace in Kashmir Valley.
After a series of attacks including incidents of weapon snatching and looting of banks even the state police chief had openly warned militant outfits not to target families of police personnel else they too would face the music.
Responding to the challenge militants had earlier ambushed police parties and killed at least one dozen police men to spread terror.
Local police authorities claimed ever since hot chase was launched against the left over militant commanders in different parts of Kashmir Valley especially in South Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam the militant commanders were planning a big terror strike. First, they targeted DPL, Pulwama and now ambushed police party in Srinagar to send a chilling reminder of their presence in the Kashmir Valley. Compared to local militants such attacks were being carried out by foreign terrorists of Lashkar-e-Toiba or Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit. IG Kashmir Munir Khan had earlier claimed that local militants have gone into hiding allowing foreign terrorists to reign supreme.