Militants on Monday carried out three apparently-synchronised attacks killing three policemen and injuring two persons in the valley where Asia’s largest Tulip Garden was opened to public as a major event to woo tourists to Jammu and Kashmir.
The deadliest of the attacks in three hours took place in Amshipora village in Shopian district of south Kashmir in which three policemen were killed by the ultras.
The attacks came on a day when Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed opened the Tulip garden on the banks of the Dal Lake expressing the hope that the Valley would see a bumper tourist season this year and to make the numbers “unprecedented”.
A police officer said the three policemen—Head Constable Mushtaq Ahmad and Constables Shabir Hussain and Nazeer Ahmad Wani–had gone to the village to investigate a routine criminal case when the militants attacked them.
“The constables were unarmed and had travelled by a public vehicle. The attack took place at around 1.30 pm,” the official said.
The first attack took place in Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district at around 11.45 am when militants opened fire on a police officer travelling in a passenger bus.
Sub Inspector Ghulam Mustafa was shot at by two pistol-borne militants in a bus which was on its way to Pattan, resulting in injuries to the police officer, the officer said.
The driver of the passenger bus drove into a local police post where the cops shifted their injured colleague to hospital, he said.
The police officer has been referred to SKIMS hospital where the doctors said his condition was “stable”.
The third attack of the day took place at Tral in Pulwama district where the ultras shot at and critically injured a former militant at around 2.45 pm.
Rafiq Ahmad Bhat, a former militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, was shot at and critically injured by gunmen in the town, police said.
They said Bhat was rushed to Srinagar for treatment. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the three attacks so far.