Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Srinagar, which was declared ‘militant-free’ by the police in August 2020, has witnessed six hit-and-run attacks on security personnel, seven encounters and at least 14 grenade attacks in this year. The first hit-and-run attack in Srinagar this year took place on February 19 when militants shot dead two policemen at Baghat Chowk. Since then, the militants have carried out five more such attacks in the city.

In total, six policemen and three paramilitary CRPF personnel were killed. The slain policemen include a CID inspector and Sub Inspector Arshid Mir who was shot dead by militants in Khanyar on September 12.

Seven encounters between militants and forces have also taken place in Srinagar this year. In these gunfights, which took place both in the Civil Lines and downtown areas, 14 militants of different outfits were killed. 

Three civilians were also shot dead by militants in  Srinagar. Another civilian lost his life in a grenade attack on security forces. There have been at least 14 grenade attacks by militants targeting secuirty forces in the city. Over two dozen civilians and security men were injured in these attacks.

The police had declared Srinagar ‘militant-free’ in August last year. “In August last year, there was zero presence of militants in Srinagar. However, in the first week of September last year, militant Abbas Sheikh shifted his base from Kulgam in south Kashmir to Srinagar and seven more militants also joined him in Srinagar,”  Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said.

Abbas Sheikh and his deputy were killed in an encounter with security forces in Aloochi Bagh area of uptown Srinagar on August 23. The IGP said of the eight militants active in Srinagar, five have been killed in encounters. “Besides, there are 10-15 Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militants in Srinagar,” he said adding, “We will either be killing the remaining militants in Srinagar or arresting them.”