Several villages under siege after cordon and search ops.
Srinagar: Security forces launched a massive search operation covering several villages of Jammu and Kashmir’s northern Bandipore district on Thursday after a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was shot dead by militants, in an attack which injured four of his family members.
The gunmen barged into the residence of BSF jawan Rameez Ahmed Parray in Parray Mohalla of Hajin area of the district on Wednesday night and shot him dead. His father Ghulam Ahmad Parray, brothers Mumtaz Ahmed and Javaid Ahmed and aunt Habba Begum were injured in the shootout, the police said. Parray had come home on holiday a few days ago.
The police said that the gunmen shot Parray at point blank range, and when his family members started crying, the assailants fired their weapons indiscriminately. The condition of Parray’s aunt Habba Begum is stated to be critical, whereas the other injured are stable. Parray had joined the BSF six years ago.
The J&K DGP termed the incident as “barbaric and inhuman”, and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. At dawn, the Army’s 13 Rashtriya Rifles, the J&K police’s counterinsurgency special operation group (SOG) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) laid siege to several villages, including Shahgund and Gund Boon of Bandipora, to conduct searches. The police said that the assailants were reported to have fled in the direction of these villages after committing the crime. “Most probably, they are hiding in Shahgund,” a police officer said.
This is the third instance of a member of the security forces being shot dead by militants while on leave at home in the Kashmir Valley in past six months. On June 15, J&K policeman Shabir Ahmed Dar was shot dead from point blank range by assailants in southern Kulgam district’s Bogund village.
On May 9, Ummer Fayaz Parray, a 22-year-old officer with the Army’s 2 Rajputana Rifles, was also on leave when he was abducted by two masked gunmen from a cousin’s wedding in Batpora village of Kulgam district. The next morning, his bullet-riddled corpse was found in the Harmain area of neighbouring Shopian district.
In March and April this year, the Valley had witnessed a series of militant attacks at policemen and their families following which the police department had issued an advisory asking its field personnel to avoid visiting their homes “for the next few months”. It had, while referring to the “unfortunate” incidents wherein “militants and anti-national and anti-social elements have caused damage to the life and property of police personnel”, asked them to exercise extreme caution while visiting their homes.
“They should preferably avoid visiting their homes for the next few months as their personal security is of paramount importance,” the advisory had said. It also asked all heads of various formations to brief their officers and men regarding the threat, so that the life and property of police personnel were secured.