Four policemen including an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) were killed in a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion triggered by militants in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district Saturday morning.
Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility of the IED blast, which is first since 2015.
The IED blast took place near Gole Market at main Chowk Sopore at around 10 am when policemen were deployed in the area to maintain law and order in view of the shutdown called by the separatists against massacre of over 50 civilians by security personnel on this day in 1993.
The IED went off with a big bang causing death of four policemen.
6-7 shops were damaged in the explosion, which created a big crater near the blast site.
Immediately after the blast, police, CRPF and army men launched search operation in the area to nab the attackers. However, no arrests were reported.
ADGP Munir Ahmad Khan told reporters here that militants had planted the powerful IED near a shop embankment.
He said four policemen including an ASI were killed in the explosion.
Khan said in view of shutdown called by the separatists, there was a normal deployment of police in the market to prevent any protests and maintain law and order.
The deceased policemen were identified as ASI Irshad Ahmad, 58, (EXK No 825685) R/o Doda, Constable Ghulam Nabi (Belt No 720/IRP 3rd) R/o Rohama Rafiabad, Constable Parvaiz Ahmad (Belt No 915/IRP 3rd) R/o Villigam Handwara and constable Mohammad Amin (Belt No 470/IRP 3rd) R/o Sogam Kupwara.
ASI Irshad is survived by 72-year-old mother, wife, two sons and two daughters. Constable Amin is survived by aged mother, wife, minor son, brother and three sisters. Constable Parvaiz is survived by aged father, wife, minor son, unmarried sister and three brothers while constable Ghulam Nabi has left behind aged parents, pregnant wife, two-year-old differently abled daughter, two brothers and two unmarried sisters.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the IED attack.
A spokesman of the outfit claimed that Afzal Guru Squad of the outfit carried out the attack in which five policemen were killed and many others injured.
ADGP said the IED blast took place after a gap of two years.
He said the last IED blast in Valley had taken place in 2015.
“It seems some new recruits in the militant ranks are expert in IED making. We will have to devise a plan to stop them,” the ADGP said.
He said the security officials would design new strategies to tackle the IED threat.
When told that Jaish has claimed responsibility for the blast, Khan said, “We are verifying it. We will check the authenticity of the Jaish statement. We will have to see other aspects also and see whether the claim is true or not.”
The wreath-laying ceremony of the slain policemen was held at District Police Lines Sopore. It was attended by ADPP Muneer Khan, SSP Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain, SSP Sopore Harmeet Singh Mehta, COs of 22 RR and 179 Bn CRPF, all DySsP and cops of the district.
Scores of people participated in funeral prayers of slain police constable Ghulam Nabi at Rohama, Rafiabad in Baramulla.
A relative of slain cop said he was earlier posted in Doda and recently transferred to Sopore.
The policeman’s body was buried at a nearby graveyard at his native village amid sobs and tears.