Militants kill CRPF man; SIT will probe officer’s lynching

SRINAGAR: A CRPF officer was killed and a constable injured in an attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba on Srinagar outskirts that saw the militants run into a school where soldiers carried out searches till late into Saturday night.

The gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying a team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) near Pantha Chowk bypass in the evening, killing sub-inspector Sahib Shukla and injuring a constable. A Lashkar spokesperson later told KNS news agency that the attack was carried out by its members and said that three CRPF men had been killed.

Locals reported hearing gunshots from the school where officials suspected the militants were hiding. The attack came a day after a senior police officer was stripped and beaten to death in the heart of the city.

The state police said on Saturday it had set up a special investigation squad and made three new arrests over the lynching of deputy superintendent of police Mohammad Ayub Pandith outside Jama Masjid in Srinagar.

Police also transferred Sajad Khaliq Bhat, the superintendent of North Srinagar. Nowhatta, the locality where Pandith was killed, falls under the North Srinagar area.

“We have identified 12 persons in connection with the case and five of them have been arrested,” director general of Jammu and Kashmir police SP Vaid told media. Two of the arrests were on Friday.

Vaid told HT the officer was on duty in the area where thousands of people had gathered for nightlong congregational prayers.

Pandith, 57, a deputy superintendent, was with the security wing of state police. He was killed outside Jamia Masjid during the celebrations of Laylat al Qadr, or night of power, which commemorates the night the Quran is believed to have been revealed to the Prophet Mohammad.

Saturday’s killing of the CRPF officer added to the 42 deaths since May 28, when the holy month of Ramzan of began. This year’s Ramzan is one of the deadliest in recent years, underscoring the unrest in the region that has seen bouts of violent civilian-soldier clashes and terror attacks.

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